Common solutions recommended and opted for include stents and surgeries, as well as medications along with lifestyle changes. Often, invasive options are assumed to be more effective and quick-acting. However, a couple of new studies have said that stents and surgeries are not more effective than medications and appropriate lifestyle changes for patients with stable ischemic heart diseases.
The studies, according to an NIH release, settle a decades-old controversy in cardiology and are among the largest and the most consequential studies of its kind. It found that invasive procedures such as stents and surgery don’t do much over the other options to reduce the risk of heart attack and death. But it also noted that such procedures helped with alleviating symptoms such as chest pain and improve the overall quality of life.
“Taken together, the quality of life and clinical results suggest that there is no need for invasive procedures in patients without symptoms,” said David Maron, M.D., director of the Stanford Prevention Research Center at Stanford University and the study’s lead author and principal investigator. “For those with angina, our results show it is just as safe to begin treating with medication and lifestyle change, and then if symptoms persist, discuss invasive treatment options.”
Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in the US. One of the commonest heart conditions, it affects over 18 million Americans. While symptoms are not always noticed, many cases don’t realize the condition until incidents of heart attack, chest pain, or cardiac arrest. The research sought to understand the effectiveness of various strategies in heart conditions.
The researchers highlighted the need for long-term follow-up of patients.