Big study casts doubt on need for many heart procedures

Big study casts doubt on need for many heart procedures


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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A large study finds that people with severe but stable heart disease from clogged arteries may have less chest pain if they get a procedure to improve blood flow rather than just giving medicines a chance to help, but it won't cut their risk of having a heart attack or dying over the next few years.

The results suggest that tens of thousands of costly stent procedures and bypass operations each year are unnecessary or premature for people with stable disease. That's a different situation than a heart attack, when a procedure is needed right away to restore blood flow.

For non-emergency cases, doctors say the study shows there's no need to rush into invasive tests and procedures.

Results were reported Saturday at an American Heart Association conference in Philadelphia.

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Marilynn Marchione

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