Stents no more effective than drugs for heart disease: Study

ABC News’ Dr. Jennifer Ashton discusses a new study that found stents may be no more effective than some cholesterol-lowering drugs and lifestyle changes for treating heart disease.
1:32 | 11/18/19

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Transcript for Stents no more effective than drugs for heart disease: Study
Turning to that major headline when it comes to heart disease. A large rigorous study showing stents may be no more effective than cholesterol lowering drugs and lifestyle changes and Dr. Ashton is here to break it down. Big headline coming out of the world's annual conference for cardiology going on right now. Who this news applies to. This is not for everyone with heart disease. It's for a certain patient, moderate to severe coronary artery disease without chest pain. What this study does, randomize them into two group, one getting stent, surgery and lifestyle modifications and medication and the other aggressive medical management and lifetime changes and that group, the medication group was as effective as the more invasive group. Now, some caveats. We have to be crystal clear. Stents save lives in patients who are actively having a heart attack so take that grew out but what this showed is that doctors can feel more comfortable medically managing patients at high risk. This could reduce by 23,000 procedures a year what we're seeing now and save over $500 million a year. So tell us about the role of medication. We're talking about aggressive use of statins to lower ldl cholesterol to 30 or 40. Aspirin and in most cases a beta blocker. We have to distinguish between the use for treatment which this is versus prevention which we also often talk about but lifestyle very important. Always, always. Thank you. Coming up next what Ariana

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