People with significantly clogged heart arteries often undergo bypass surgery or stenting procedures, but a large new study shows that drug therapy alone is often just as effective. The study presented to meetings of the American Heart Association finds that artery blockages discovered during stress tests can be managed with medication and result in no more heart attacks or deaths than in patients who received either stents or bypass surgery.

Medical Notes 19-48


Medical notes this week…

People with significantly clogged heart arteries often undergo bypass surgery or stenting procedures, but a large new study (ClinicalTrials.gov) shows that drug therapy alone is often just as effective. The study presented to meetings of the American Heart Association finds that artery blockages discovered during stress tests can be managed with medication and result in no more heart attacks or deaths (NY Times) than in patients who received either stents or bypass surgery. However, that doesn’t apply to people who have a blockage of the left main coronary artery—the so-called “widow maker.”

Cigarette smoking has hit an all time low, but it’s still higher than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would like it. According to a new government study in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC), about 14 percent of american adults smoke—down two-thirds since the first Surgeon General’s report on smoking more than 50 years ago. Another six percent of adults use other tobacco products—led by cigars, e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. 

Having more meatless burgers now could cut your dementia risk later. A 20-year study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that middle-aged people who ate a diet rich in plant based foods were between 18 and 33 percent less likely to develop cognitive impairment later in life. Earlier studies have shown that diets like the mediterranean diet also cut the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

And finally, if people are more anxious these days, maybe it’s because they’re not getting enough sleep. A study in the journal Nature Human Behavior shows that deep or so-called “REM sleep” is one of the most powerful anti-anxiety influencers available to the brain. Scientists say a sleepless night can trigger up to a 30 percent increase in anxiety levels.


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