Drug-coated cardiac stents better: studyMay 25th, 2008 - 4:52 pm ICT by admin
New York, May 25 (IANS) Heart patients who have received drug-coated stents to open their blocked coronary arteries have a healthier future, according to new research. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that patients with drug-coated stents were less apt to die, have another heart attack or require extra stents or bypass surgery in the two years following the first placement, compared to those who receive bare metal stents.
The study, the first large follow-up effort, shows a clear, lifesaving benefit of what are known as “drug-eluting” stents.
The findings are being published in the forthcoming issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Drug-coated stents are designed not only to open blocked coronary arteries but also to chemically inhibit future blockage.
“This might be a hidden nugget of goodness that could not be detected in clinical trials,” said Peter W. Groeneveld, who led the study.
“There is a distinct possibility that drug-eluting stents not only reduce the need for future cardiac procedures, but also save lives.”
Groeneveld and his colleagues studied medicare data to identify about 72,000 patients who received drug-eluting stents during a nine-month period in 2003, the first year the devices were approved for use in the US.
Overall, the findings showed a clear survival benefit compared to a control group of patients who got bare metal stents - at 90 days, one year and two years, patients with drug-coated stents were less likely to die.
In a separate study, Groeneveld also found that drug-eluting stents offer cost savings during the first year after placement - even though the initial cost of the device is over that of a bare metal stent.