Stents Save Coronaries, Not Lives

Coronary stents do not improve the long-term survival rates of heart patients but they "do provide a significant early and sustained reduction in the need for subsequent procedures to re-open the treated artery," according to a report presented by Duke cardiologist David Kandzari at the American Heart Association meeting.

Comment: If stents "provide a significant early and sustained reduction in the need for subsequent procedures to re-open the treated artery," stents are doing a pretty good job. The trouble, we would think, is that propping open a coronary artery with a stent is like putting a finger in the dike of atherosclerosis. What is needed is to halt or reverse the atherosclerotic process entirely and that cannot be done by a small mechanical device.

Barbara K. Hecht, Ph.D.
Frederick Hecht, M.D.
Medical Editors, MedicineNet.com

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