Older heart disease patients with drug-eluting stents fare better when it comes to heart attacks and mortality rates than patients with bare metal stents, according to a study funded by the federal Health & Human Services dept.’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
The study, by researchers from Duke University, AHRQ and Kaiser Permanente, indicates that patients age 65 and older with heart disease who receive drug-eluting are more likely to survive and less likely to suffer a heart attack than people fitted with bare stents.
The researchers looked at data from 262,700 Medicare patients and found that drug-eluting-stented patients had an 18 percent better survival rate over the 30-month study period and were 16 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack.
Nearly 17 percent of patients with bare metal stents died within 30 months of implantation, compared with 13.5 percent of drug-eluting stent patients, after adjusting for population differences.
And 8.9 percent of patients with bare metal stents suffered heart attacks during the period, compared with 7.5 percent of those with drug-eluting stents — a 16 percent differential.
One interesting detail is that patients fitted with drug-eluting stents in 2005 and 2006 had a lower risk of death than those given the stents in 2004.