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Better medical management needed for cardiac patients

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Patients treated solely with medication following a cardiac event are more likely to die within a year than those who have a stent or bypass surgery, suggests a US study.

Researchers studied 8,225 cardiac patients who had at least one significant blockage in a coronary artery. Half underwent coronary stenting, a third were medically managed and 16% had bypass surgery.

After one year, the mortality rate for patients who were medically managed was 7.7%, compared to 3.6% for patients who had a stent and 6.2% for those who underwent bypass surgery.

The researchers said that patients in the medical management group were more likely to be elderly women with low body weight, and more likely to have had peripheral artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or a history of stroke or previous bypass surgery.

The authors said: ‘What this study tells us is that for patients who are medically managed, we need to come up with better treatment approaches that lessen their risk of death.’

The full study will be published in the August issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Intervention.

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