Some heart stents may be unnecessary

August 14, 2008 2:04:54 PM PDT
Several hundred thousand stents are implanted in heart patients in the United States every year, but a new study says they may not all be necessary. The study suggests common heart drugs may work just as well.

Heart stents are devices used normally during angioplasties to open blocked coronary arteries.

According to the study published in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine patients who got stents and drug therapy had only a small additional benefit in pain relief compared to those who only got drug therapy.

Over 2,000 patients were used in the study.

They were treated at hospitals in the U.S. and Canada for stable coronary disease with chest pain, known as angina