September 5, 2012 - Some patients who are diagnosed with a narrowing of the arteries to the heart may be better off just getting a stent right away, rather than relying only on drug therapy. According to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers at Stanford University found that many heart patients who relied on drugs alone, ended-up needing emergency stent procedures to open up their arteries later. In the study, 888 people had at least one narrowed artery causing restricted blood flow, the urgent need for stenting was about 4 percent among those who had a stent placed initially and nearly 13 percent among those who received medical therapy alone at first. The study was funded by St. Jude Medical, one of two companies that manufacture the pressure wires used in the new study.
Also, there is more evidence that exercise can keep us disease-free in our later years. Researchers at the University of Texas found that people who exercised 20 percent more in their 30's, 40's, and 50's decreased their chances of heart failure, Alzheimer's and colon cancer, decades later, by 20 percent. They were also more likely to live their last five years without chronic disease. The effects were the same for both men and women.