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PostPosted: 18 Mar 2018 12:02 
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Here is a topic that must cause a bit of unease among interventional Cardiologists. Some of them are probably pretty angry with the author too. Cardiologists used to worry their patients would suffer when they left to attend professional conferences. A new Harvard study suggests doctors should worry more when they're on the job!

The study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found that patients nationwide who had a heart attack during the biggest interventional cardiology conference of the year fared better than those who got sick in the weeks before or after the conference.

It was either a statistical fluke, or interventional cardiologists are sometimes doing their patients more harm than good.

In the study, researchers looked at the 30-day survival rates of Medicare patients who had heart attacks during the five-day Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics meeting, which is run by the Cardiovascular Research Foundation. They found an additional 1.5% of patients survived heart attacks that occurred during the convention compared with the weeks before and after, said study leader Anupam Jena, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

The difference accounted for thousands of lives saved and couldn't be explained by the number of emergency stents patients received.

When patients enter a hospital during a heart attack, some are immediately taken to a catheterization laboratory, said Robert Yeh, an interventional cardiologist and co-author of the study. There, an interventional cardiologist will implant a stent to prop open a blocked artery.

Research has raised questions about whether stents are required if the patient is stable, but if a blocked artery is causing a heart attack, the data is clear: Get that artery unblocked as soon as possible, he said. In other heart attack patients, where the cause is less clear, their disease may be managed by medication, usually overseen by general cardiologists, said Yeh, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
In the study, the greatest increase in survival rates was among patients who were seen by an interventional cardiologist but didn't receive a stent.


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