April 29, 2013

Diabetes Revascularization in the FREEDOM Trial

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vesselsIf you have diabetes, coronary artery disease (CAD) may be a concern someday. Deciding which treatment option is best for you is a big one. Researchers are conducting a trial to see which option is right for you. Details of this study are published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The FREEDOM Study compared 5-year death rates in people with diabetes who had multivessel coronary artery disease. These people either underwent coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery or percutaneous coronary stenting (PCI).

In published studies comparing revascularization strategies for people with diabetes and CAD, coronary-artery bypass grafting (CABG) has been the preferred method of treatment. This study investigated if an aggressive surgical intervention is better than the stenting approach.

All 1900 patients underwent either the coronary bypass surgery or coronary stenting. The bypass surgery involves open access to the heart. The stenting is a less invasive procedure. After the treatment, patients were prescribed cholesterol, blood pressure, LDL lipid medication, and followed for their diabetes.

For patients with diabetes and advanced coronary artery disease, the surgery was superior to stenting. It significantly reduced rates of death. Take a look at the study protocol on ClinicalTrials.gov . The study had two sponsors. Valentín Fuster who is a world-famous and highly awarded cardiologist. The other sponsor was the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

For what it’s worth, if you’re going into the hospital for a procedure, get the one that is recommended by your doctor. Your doctor is in the one caring for your heart. It’s bad for business if he or she misadvise you.

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