Too many Stents

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Submitted by Dr T on August 3, 2011 – 7:26am

Dear Sirs, Your July 6th WSJ article “Heart Treatments Overused, Study Says” is a repeat of a similar February 11, 2010 article in The Wall Street Journal, also about the overuse of angioplasty procedures.

Sadly, I suspect neither your article, nor the US Senate Committee Senate Finance report of December 6, 2010 will have any impact on future usage.

However, there is more at stake than a potential unnecessary yearly cost of $1.5B/year.

Since a number of clinical trials have shown that percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) doesn’t prolong life, protect against progression of disease or future heart attacks, the only (financial) benefits are reserved for the cardiologists and the Stent industry involved, while their patients are exposed to the potential risks and complications, not to speak of the expenses.

Joan F. Tryzelaar, M.D.

doctort@cardiachealth.org

References:

1): Appropriateness of Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, Chan, P. S. et al. JAMA 2011; 306:53-61

4): Baucus, Grassley Outline Millions of Wasted Taxpayer Dollars, Examine Reports Of Hundreds of Improper Cardiac Stent Implantations, US Senate Committee on Finance, December 06, 2010

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