Study Says Some Heart Procedures Not Needed
KANSAS CITY (AP) - A new study from Kansas City's St. Luke's Hospital says some heart patients may be getting treatment they don't need.
The study shows that one out of nine non-emergency angioplasties may have been inappropriate. The Kansas City Star reports that about 70 percent of angioplasties are done on emergency patients experiencing heart attacks or who are at immediate risk. Other angioplasties are considered elective.
The St. Luke's study used data collected by the American College of Cardiology on about 500,000 angioplasties performed in 2009 and 2010 at 1,091 U.S. hospitals.
Previous research has also shown that many heart patients can do just as well without the procedure, which involves inserting a tiny balloon in heart arteries to clear blockage, if they get the right medication, diet and exercise.
Photo of angioplasty balloon courtesy of Denise Chan on Flickr Creative Commons