Flimsy Sanity: Save $40,000, Take an aspirin

Flimsy Sanity

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Save $40,000, Take an aspirin

Most Angioplasties unneeded.
About 1.2 million angioplasties are done in the United States each year... The procedure already has lost some popularity because of emerging evidence that popular drug-coated stents can raise the risk of blood clots months later. The new study shifts the argument from which type of stent to use to whether to do the procedure at all.
It involved 2,287 patients throughout the U.S. and Canada who had substantial blockages, typically in two arteries, but were medically stable. They had an average of 10 chest pain episodes a week — moderately severe. About 40 percent had a prior heart attack.
All were treated with medicines that improve chest pain and heart and artery health such as aspirin, cholesterol-lowering statins, nitrates, ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers. Half of the participants also were assigned to get angioplasty.
After an average of 4 1/2 years, the groups had similar rates of death and heart attack: 211 in the angioplasty group and 202 in the medication group — about 19 percent of each.
Heart-related hospitalization rates were similar, too.


  • At 6:31 AM, Blogger United We Lay said…

    It's all about money. HMO's get more money of surgery is necessary, none if you just take an asprin. The health care system in this country needs some major reform and no one is paying any attention to it.

  • At 7:49 AM, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    i sort of new about his before the study, i spent three months living in a mud hut in the jungle with a surgeon.

    p.s. i linked to you.

  • At 9:57 AM, Blogger Peacechick Mary said…

    As for the aspirin, it's not even a full dose that is needed. This has to be the other slap in the face to the drug kings.

  • At 10:57 AM, Blogger Graeme said…

    the healthcare here is crazy. this is one example why

  • At 6:43 AM, Blogger United We Lay said…

    My sister has an actual heart condition and she can't get Social Security or health insurance because of this f'd up government. She needs a lot more than asprin. We're going to have to move to Canada for her to get actual care.

  • At 4:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well, up here in Canada the physicians are pushing the once-daily aspirin thing with gusto, but regular use of aspirin can also be quite damaging to the liver.

    At the risk of sounding simplistic, would it be possible to switch our focus to prevention?

    Yes, i AM talking about shutting down Macdonalds.


  • At 9:17 AM, Blogger United We Lay said…

    And Burger King, and KFC, and Taco Bell, etc... I think that sutting them down may not be possible, but regulating the quality of food they serve is.

  • At 6:32 PM, Blogger Omnipotent Poobah said…

    I look at ALL medical procedures as merely tools to work with. A wise doctor choses the proper tool for the job and a wise patient asks about what's happening before its done.

    I had two blockages (one 50% and the other 99%) a few years back and went in for an angiogram. While still laying on the table watching my innards on TV, I discussed options with not only my doctor, but with another doctor who came in and gave his opinion. I even asked one of the nurses in the room to tell me his experience with a similar problem.

    They all said both could be fixed with stents, but that one was in a tricky location and it might not work well.

    They didn't push me one way or the other. I asked questions. They provided answers, and I made the decision...not them.

    I think I made the right decision, but I must emphasize...it was MY decision. Anyone who leaves themselves at the mercy of a doctor is a pretty unintelligent medical consumer.

    It's certainly true there's plenty of misinformation and administrative miscreants mucking up the water, but caveat emptor carries the day as far as I'm concerned.


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