Bypass surgery better than stents
Patients with diabetes and angina and multiple narrowings in the coronary arteries do better with surgery than stents according to the results of an international study involving a research expert at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH).
Professor Marcus Flather, who holds a joint appointment as Director of Research at NNUH and Professor of Medicine and Clinical Trials at the University of East Anglia, is a member of the Steering Committee for a large international study called FREEDOM which involved 2000 patients in 16 countries, including the UK and USA, who were randomly assigned percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with stents or coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) and followed for up to 5 years.
The results of the study, presented at The American Heart Association Scientific Sessions and published in the New England Journal of Medicine have confirmed that patients with diabetes and multiple clogged heart arteries fared significantly better when treated with bypass surgery than drug-covered stents. These patients were less likely to die or have a heart attack within five years if they underwent bypass surgery compared to treatment with drug-coated stents.
Professor Flather said: This study will give patients and their doctors more information about the benefits and risks of stents compared to heart surgery in patients with diabetes and multiple clogged arteries. The evidence shows that the majority of these patients will do better over the long term with heart surgery. The FREEDOM trials results build on prevous evidence suggesting that surgery is better in these patients.”
This is a very significant piece of research which will influence the management of about 30,000 patients in the UK each year who have diabetes and need a coronary revascularisation procedure.
Notes to editors
The University of East Anglia (UEA) is ranked in the top two per cent of universities in the world and was ranked joint fourth for student satisfaction in the 2012 National Student Survey. It is in the world Top 10 for research citations and is a leading member of the Norwich Research Park – one of Europe's biggest concentrations of researchers in the fields of environment, health and plant science. www.uea.ac.uk.
The University of East Anglia's Norwich Medical School has a reputation for exciting and innovative approaches to education, supported by a strong and rapidly developing research programme. Around 90 per cent of UEA research was rated internationally excellent in the last Research Assessment Exercise, with over 50 per cent 'world leading'. www.uea.ac.uk/med
The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust provides a full range of acute clinical services through the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and Cromer and District Hospital, including more specialist services such as oncology and radiotherapy, neonatology, orthopaedics, plastic surgery, ophthalmology, rheumatology, paediatric medicine and surgery.
Our staff of more than 6,000 treat more than 700,000 people from Norfolk, neighbouring counties and further afield. Our patients are referred to us by around 100 local GP practices but also from other acute hospitals and primary care trusts around the country.