Stents Are Unnecessary for Many Heart Patients

Written by: Beth Levine

Most people diagnosed with heart disease try to find a cardiologist they can trust since they are placing their health in this person’s hands. But perhaps that trust is not warranted. A new study shows that even the best heart surgeons are frequently doing their patients a disservice by performing stents that are of no benefit to those with stable heart conditions. In fact, according to the research, two-thirds of these procedures are undergone needlessly.

The study, which took place at Stony Brook University Medical Center in New York, focused on eight clinical trials that took place between 1997 and 2005.1 The researchers examined the treatment and results for 7,229 patients who had stable forms of heart disease such as stable angina, which presents as chest pain that appears upon exertion, or an asymptomatic narrowing of the arteries. Approximately half of these patients were treated with medication, and the other half were medicated as well as given stents. >

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