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Drugs and lifestyle changes could be as effective as surgery for heart disease, study results said



The results of a major heart disease trial could be of critical importance to patients with coronary heart disease. The researchers found that preventing heart attack or stroke, stent or bypass surgery is nothing better than the consistent use of medication and lifestyle changes.

The study was led by researchers from the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Stanford University and presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions conference this weekend.

Researchers studied more than 5,000 patients with cardiac arrest that are stable. Inserting a stent was more likely to improve a patient's quality of life by reducing symptoms such as chest pain. A stent, however, no longer reduced the risk of heart attack or stroke other than taking medication or making lifestyle changes.

"The stent and bypass group can not be associated with longer life or longer survival, and stents or bypasses had a better quality of life and reduced symptoms so they could feel better," said CBS staff member Dr. Tara Narula.

It is estimated that approximately 1

million coronary stents are implanted in patients every year in the US. It can open a blocked artery and restore proper blood flow. However, it only works in one place and the process can be risky.

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