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Study: CABG Can Be Effective For Diabetes Patients

According to a recent study by the Karolinska Institutet, coronary artery bypass surgery may be the best treatment method for diabetes patients suffering from clogged arteries (atherosclerosis). The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology as an official consideration for patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as the current international guidelines recommend the procedure for diabetes patients with artherosclerotic coronary arteries.

This is quite the revelation considering the current guidelines don’t differentiate whether this treatment option is best for type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, or both. According to Martin Holzmann, a researcher at Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Medicine in Solna, “Since type 1 diabetes is a different disease with different complications, it’s never been given that the treatment should be the same as with type 2 diabetes.”

The procedure, for those who are unfamiliar, is called coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) and it improves blood flow to the heart by connecting a healthy artery or vein from the body to the blocked coronary artery. In this process, the grafted artery bypasses the blocked artery, creating a path for healthy blood flow. This procedure is the most common open heart surgery that is performed in the U.S.

During the study, Dr. Holzmann and his research team followed up with patients with type 1 diabetes who underwent revascularization of two or more narrowed coronary vessels between the years of 1995 and 2013. The results from their data collection can be seen below:

  • Patients who underwent revascularization via percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) had a 45% increased risk of fatal heart disease.
  • Patients who underwent PCI also had a 47% increased risk of myocardial infarction during the average 10-year follow-up time than patients who were treated with CABG
  • Patients who underwent PCI were 5 times more likely to require further treatment.

With these results, researchers came to the conclusions that CABG was the preferred procedure for patients with type 1 diabetes and two or more diseased coronary vessels, a guideline that has been recommended for patients with type 2 diabetes. While PCI is easier to perform, researchers also found that the relative number of CAGB procedures decreased dramatically over the study period.

A direct quote from the article stated, “between 1995 and 2000, CAGB accounted for 58% of revascularizations in patients with type 1 diabetes and at least two diseased coronary vessels, a figure that was down to only 5% between 2007 and 2013.”

To learn more about this procedure and the study results, please visit Science DailyThe surgical professionals at Specialty Surgical Center specialize in a number of surgical interventions, many of which you can review on our specialties page.

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The advice and information contained in this article are for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.