Drugs are just as effective as stents or surgery in patients suffering from stable heart disease, a recent study reports. Adding drugs as a treatment option will provide more options for patients with cardiovascular disease.
Drugs: Study Results
The study was presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association. Researchers followed more than 5,000 adults with moderate to severe heart blockages for about three years. Some patients received drug therapy only; others were assigned to surgery plus drug therapy. The number of people who had a heart attack or died from heart disease was similar across the groups.
Drugs: Current Therapies For Cardiovascular Patients
Stents and coronary bypass surgery reduce chest pain caused by inadequate blood supply, in patients that have already suffered one or more heart attacks. But, for cardiovascular patients who have not had a heart attack — medication and lifestyle changes can be just as effective.
The results clearly give patients more options. For example, surgery or a stent may be a better choice for an active adult with chest discomfort from coronary artery disease. On the other hand, a heart patient with no chest pain can take medications to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. Both paths of treatment equally reduce the risk of heart attack or death.
These results are a boon to patients with cardiovascular disease without pain. They can avoid surgery and the possibility of post-surgical complications. In fact, patients with unstable heart disease make up the majority of patients who undergo stent or bypass surgery.
The positive takeaway is that cardiac patients now have the option drug treatment combined with lifestyle changes. Avoiding surgery, if possible is always the better option.