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Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
Diabetes Channel
Reported December 21, 2012

Aggressive Treatment Better for Diabetics?


(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Diabetes kills more than 200,000 people each year, according to the American Diabetes Association. A new study has found that an aggressive surgical procedure may significantly lower the risk of heart attack and death in diabetic patients.
The study compared revascularization strategies for diabetic patients. In other words, it looked at the impact a non-surgical procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention, or angioplasty had on diabetic patients with blocked arteries compared to a more aggressive surgical procedure, coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).
In PCI, a deflated balloon is snaked through an artery until it reaches a blockage and is then inflated to expand the artery and all blood flow. A stent is often inserted. 
In comparison, CABG is a surgery in which arteries or veins are taken from elsewhere in the patient's body and grafted to the coronary arteries to bypass a blockage. 
From 2005 through 2010, researchers studied 1900 patients around the age of 63 at 140 medical centers around the globe. They randomly assigned patients with diabetes and multi-vessel coronary artery disease to undergo either PCI with drug-eluting stents or CABG. The patients were followed for a minimum of 2 years. 
The group that received PCI were significantly more likely to suffer myocardial infarction or death, but less likely to suffer stroke than the CABG group. 
The results led researchers to conclude that CABG was the superior treatment option. 
Source: New England Journal of Medicine
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