Cardiovascular disease is still the number one cause of death for United States citizens. Cancer may have risen in ranks, clocking in at the number one spot in 22 states, but heart and vascular diseases are still the highest ranking overall killers in the country. So, of course, a lot of effort goes into coming up with any kind of solution. Multiple teams of researchers coordinated an effort that showed us how surgery and stents equally effective against cardiovascular incidents.
Actually composed of two different long term studies, the research was performed at 117 different medical centers throughout the United States and Canada, and it was coordinated by teams from the Rutgers University, from the University of Alabama Birmingham, and of course from the Mayo Clinic.
For the first stage of the study, which lasted no less than five years, the teams of scientists looked at whether stems and surgery were equally safe for cardiovascular patients. Called the Asymptomatic Carotid Trial, or simply ACT 1, the first stage confirmed how both procedures were equally safe.
For the second stage, the teams of researchers checked to see if the two procedures were equally effective. Called the Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy versus Stenting Trial, or CREST for short, the five year long study looked at a sample of 2,502 subjects who had received either stems or had arterial clogging surgery. The study followed up on the patients’ condition every six months for a duration of 10 years.
Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the results speak of good news to potential cardiovascular accident victims. There are now two equally safe and equally effective procedures that can be used to prevent both strokes and heart attacks.
Unclogging a person’s arteries via stent administration or surgery are both equally viable and safe options for at least ten years. For the following ten years, the risk of heart attack dropped to 11.8% for stent patients and to 9.9% for surgery patients, while stroke chances appeared to drop to 5.6% for those who undertook surgery, and to 6.9% for the group administered stents.
This provides both patients and doctors with two completely distinct and equally equitable alternatives, a thing which hasn’t really been practiced up until now. Finally being offered an alternative to surgery, a larger percentage of our country’s population might finally start taking preventive measures, hopefully putting an end to the cardiovascular diseases’ reign over our lives.
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