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Bypass Surgery Diagram

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Types of Cardiac Bypass Surgery

Treating Diabetes and Heart Disease: Cardiac Bypass Surgery a Better Option

A recent study may impact how doctors treat people with diabetes and heart disease.

Researchers compared two treatments for adults with diabetes who have heart disease in more than one blood vessel. The study confirmed cardiac bypass surgery is a better overall treatment option than an artery-opening procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) that included insertion of drug-eluting stents. Surgery patients lived longer and had fewer severe complications.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute funded the study. Director Gary H. Gibbons, M.D., says the results may help physicians in their efforts to prevent cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and deaths in this high-risk group.

Coronary heart disease can block or reduce the flow of blood to the heart muscle. Doctors try to restore blood flow with one of two types of procedures. Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery uses a healthy artery or vein from another part of the body to bypass the blocked artery. PCI is non-surgical and less invasive. It uses a balloon to open the artery. A small mesh tube called a stent is then inserted to prop open the artery.

Diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. More than 65 percent of people with diabetes die of some type of cardiovascular disease. During the trial, participants received standard medical care for all major cardiovascular risk factors, such as high LDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar. Participants were also counseled about lifestyle choices, such as smoking cessation, diet, and regular exercise.

Therapy Shows Promise for Peanut Allergy

peanuts

A small amount of liquid therapy that a person with peanut allergy places daily underneath the tongue can reduce his or her sensitivity to peanuts, a new study has found. With further development, the experimental technique could make life easier for people whose only current option is to avoid everything that contains peanuts.

Food allergy occurs when the immune system responds to a harmless food as if it were a threat. Symptoms can range from hives and itching to anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition that can involve throat swelling, a sudden drop in blood pressure, trouble breathing, fainting, and dizziness.

The trial was funded by NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) and National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).

Spring 2013 Issue: Volume 8 Number 1 Page 28