ANCHOR LEAD: CONSERVATIVE THERAPY MAY BE BEST FOR MOST HEART DISEASE, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Heart disease frequently is detected first when someone has chest pain or angina. But going straight to invasive procedures like balloon angioplasty, use of a stent to open arteries in the heart, or bypass surgery may not be the best choice, says Roger Blumenthal, director of the Cicarrone Center for Preventive Cardiology at Johns Hopkins.
BLUMENTHAL: For many patients, they can be put on the appropriate medicines and their angina will essentially disappear within 24 to 36 hours. So clinicians just need to realize that the more conservative approach works just as well for the vast majority of individuals. If on the other hand someone still has extensive decreased blood flow to the heart and reduced exercise tolerance, we have the options for revascularization. :25
Blumenthal says just because someone is in the cardiac catheterization lab for evaluation doesn’t mean they need a procedure. Changing exercise and diet habits and use of medications may be preferable over the long term. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.