- Associated Press - Monday, April 4, 2011

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Doctors may have a better way to do heart diagnostic tests and procedures to open clogged heart arteries.

A new study finds fewer complications when these are done through an artery in an arm instead of one in a leg. Using the leg is common practice now.

The arm method is used a lot in Europe, Canada and other areas. But is used in fewer than 5 percent of these procedures in the U.S.

It is one of two new studies that could change care for hundreds of thousands of heart patients each year. The other finds that bypass surgery has been overrated for many people with very weak hearts from clogged arteries and previous heart attacks.

The studies were discussed Monday at a cardiology conference in New Orleans.



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Online:

Heart meeting: https://www.acc.org

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ New research casts doubt on the value of bypass surgery for many people with very weak hearts from clogged arteries and previous heart attacks.

Doctors say the operation did not improve survival for those who already were taking medicines to control heart risks like high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Clogged arteries cause about two-thirds of the 6 million cases of heart failure in the United States. The heart isn’t getting enough blood and enlarges as it grows weaker from working too hard.

Bypass has been advised for many of these people. But doctors say any benefit for them now appears small. The study was discussed Monday at a cardiology conference in New Orleans.

Online:

American College of Cardiology: https://www.acc.org

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