Heart disease is one of the most serious health issues facing the country today.
What is the best course of action for heart failure patients? Is it drugs or surgery?
CBS news reports on heart disease. Numerous physicians vary on which course of action they suggest to patients who did or could face heart failure. But which treatment plan is actually best?
Some doctors suggest that patients tackle the issue through drugs designed to decrease blockage. But many experts say this is not the best route. Studies show that bypass produces the best outcome for the patient.
An international study states, “Heart failure patients with clogged arteries have a better chance of surviving 10 years if they get bypass surgery plus medicine rather than just drugs alone.”
Previous analysis provided by the same study actually raised questions about the benefits of bypass surgery versus medicine alone, however experts are saying the long-term evidence definitely favors the surgery.
Duke University cardiologist, Dr. Eric Velazquez, led the study. The results found ‘are so definitive and so robust’ that they would probably lead to stronger recommendations advocating bypass surgery for heart disease patients.
How many people are affected by heart failure?
Experts are saying heart disease and heart failure is far too common especially considering the advances that have been made in modern medicine. Statistics show that around 6 million Americans and 23 million people worldwide experience heart failure and many of them also have artery disease.
Has bypass surgery become more common?
Experts say that in the last few years, bypass surgery has definitely been recommended more often for heart failure patients, along with medicines to take care of the symptoms that go along with heart failure.
Concerns were raised in 2011 when studies revealed an almost equal number of deaths in bypass patients and in people who got only medicine, even though there were fewer heart-related deaths in the bypass group.
The new results after ten years of analysis were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
How many patients were included in the study?
Around 1,200 participants were studied making the research comprehensive. The majority of the men were 60 years old when the study started and all of them were taking heart medicines. Half of the participants were scheduled to get bypass surgery.
The ten-year results show “A total of 359 bypass patients died from any cause, or about 59 percent, compared with 398 medicine-only patients who died, or 66 percent,” according to CBS news.
Physicians should be solidly support bypass surgery for these patients rather than a drug regimen alone.