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Surgery Soon After Heart Attack May Be Best

More Aggressive Approach May Be Merited for Treating Heart Attacks

Quick, but Cautious Approach Needed

In an editorial that accompanies the study, Freek Verheugt of University Medical Center in Nijmengen, Netherlands, says this is the first large, well-designed study to look at the safety effectiveness of using angioplasty with stenting in combination with modern anticlotting drugs after a heart attack within an average of about 17 hours after start of treatment.

Although these results show that this aggressive approach is more effective in the short term than a more conservative approach, Verheugt says more information is needed about the long-term risks of this strategy. A similar German study that treated a similar group of patients with this approach three to four weeks after their heart attack showed an even lower risk of death after one year.

Taken together, Verheugt says these studies show that, "a routine but deferred strategy might be more helpful in reducing long-term mortality than an immediate approach."

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