Report: Doctors overusing angioplasty


July 6, 2011 2:02:36 PM PDT
If it's not an emergency, a new report finds many doctors may be too quick to treat heart disease patients with an angioplasty.

What the study in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows is that of about 600 angioplasty procedures -- about 70 percent -- are not controversial. That can be reassuring.

But the study also shows the remainder are done on patients who are suffering mild or no symptoms at all. Of that group, 50 percent are considered appropriate, 38 percent uncertain and 12 percent inappropriate.

The study was prompted by the American College of Cardiology in response to growing concerns that angioplasty and stents are overused.