HealthDay News — Drug-eluting stents may perform no better for patients over the long-term, in terms of patient survival, than bare metal stents, according to a study published online August 30 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research was published to coincide with the annual European Society of Cardiology Congress, held from August 27 to 31 in Rome.

Kaare Harald Bonaa, MD, PhD, of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, and colleagues tracked 6-year outcomes for 9,013 patients. Patients received a stent after recurrent angina or a cardiovascular event such as a myocardial infarction.

Rates of revascularization procedures were low in each group: 16.5% in the drug-eluting stent group versus 19.8% in the bare-metal stent group. Patients who received a drug-eluting stent did have less need for a second revascularization procedure, but not to the level surgeons might have expected, Bonaa said. In fact, “thirty patients would need to be treated with drug-eluting stents rather than with bare-metal stents to prevent one repeat revascularization,” he told HealthDay. The researchers found no significant difference between drug-eluting or bare-metal stents in either total patient deaths, nonfatal myocardial infarction, angina, or even patient quality of life.

Overall, “the take home message is that patients treated with drug-eluting stents do not live longer nor better than patients treated with bare-metal stents,” Bonaa said.

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