(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- It may be a more invasive surgery, but new
research shows heart bypass surgery leads to longer lives than angioplasty
for specific groups of patients.
A new study involving nearly 8,000 patients from 10 clinical trials around
the world shows heart patients who have diabetes and are older than 65 have
lower mortality rates after five years if they had bypass surgery compared
to those who had angioplasty.
The death rate for diabetics after a five-year follow-up was 12 percent for
those who had coronary artery bypass surgery compared with 20 percent for
the angioplasty procedure. For those patients over 65, the mortality rate
was 11 percent for those who had bypass compared with 15 percent for those
who had angioplasty.
This is one of the first major studies to determine if one active treatment
is better than another, rather than just gauging whether a treatment works
better than a placebo, the study's authors said.
David Taggart, M.D., Ph.D., professor of cardiovascular surgery at the
University of Oxford, called the study "the most definitive and
authoritative analyses" of randomized trials comparing bypass surgery to
angioplasty in an accompanying editorial.
"It took some time to get individual patient data from all the participating
trials, but it was worth it because the pooled analysis is much more
valuable if it's based on essentially all the data. In the end we were able
to analyze data from 95 percent of all the patients worldwide with
multi-vessel coronary disease enrolled in a clinical trial of bypass surgery
and angioplasty," Taggart was quoted as saying.
The study's authors said they hope future studies will determine why bypass
surgery is more effective for treating diabetic and older patients.
SOURCE: Published on The Lancet's Web site on March 19, 2009