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Survey: Angioplasty Improves Quality of Life in Heart Patients

Patients report fewer symptoms, minimal care, and rapid return to work after elective procedure (Oct. 17)

The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) has announced results from a new survey, in which four out of five patients (81%) said their lives have changed for the better following angioplasty. Simultaneously, SCAI published a comprehensive review of research on quality of life following angioplasty and stenting. The consensus paper, published in Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions, offers recommendations to guide healthcare providers in choosing the best cardiovascular treatment to benefit patients and to enhance their quality of life.

The online survey was conducted between May 11 and June 21, 2012, and involved 464 adult heart patients in the U.S. who underwent scheduled or unscheduled angioplasty, stenting, or heart bypass surgery within the previous 3 years. The survey found that patients who underwent angioplasty experienced dramatic improvement in their quality of life in all 10 categories, including their ability to perform basic physical activity, opportunities for socializing, sex life, ability to do chores and run errands, ability to participate in hobbies, feeling financially secure, and ability to improve relationships with spouses/significant others, family, and friends.

The survey also found that angioplasty patients were able to return to work nearly three times faster than heart surgery patients. In addition, patients who underwent angioplasty required less care after the procedure and felt that they were less of a burden to family and friends.

The accompanying consensus paper features treatment recommendations, such as:

  • Informed consent: The physician should present treatment options and the risks and benefits of each, as well as the quality of life associated with each option.
  • Choice of strategy: Both coronary stenting and bypass surgery have short and long-term advantages and disadvantages. The patient should be fully informed of the trade-offs they are considering when choosing treatment options.
  • Quality of life: The patient’s quality of life should be taken into consideration in all aspects of angioplasty and stenting care, dating from the initial assessment through the public reporting of results.

Source: SCAI, October 17, 2012.

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