You follow your cardiologist’s advice, thinking it will protect you in the long run. But what if this is not the case?
It will come to no surprise for regular readers of my blog that I think that lifestyle changes are the ONLY answer for heart disease. Unfortunately, many patients opt not to make the right changes, or worse–these changes are not even discussed with patients because of a lack of knowledge on the part of the provider.
This particular study looks at outcomes of medical treatment (i.e. drugs), coronary angioplasty (PCI) or open heart surgery (CABG) ten years later. Here’s the disturbing findings after following 611 patients who had CABG, PCI or standard medical therapy (MT=drugs):
- 10-year rates of needing additional invasive procedures (revascularizations) were 7.4% with CABG, 41.9% with PCI, and 39.4% with MT.
- Those in the drug only group had a 235% higher risk of future cardiac events (including deaths) than in the CABG group.
- Those in the PCI group had a 185% higher risk of future cardiac events than in the CABG group.
- 10-year rates of freedom from angina were 64% with CABG, 59% with PCI, and 43% with MT (P<0.001).
The bottom line? Medical treatment or PCI actually INCREASED the risk of the need for more stents, heart attacks and / or cardiac death.
Wow. I know that it SOUNDS like doing procedures is a good thing and it all seems well and dandy on paper, but when translated to the patient the outcomes just don’t work out. So it boils down to having your sternum cracked open and some blood vessels taken from another area of your body to replace the disease ones that are needed to get nutrients and oxygen to your heart.
Eat better / stress less / exercise. Hmmm…tough decision…