Patients who underwent coronary angioplasty in hospitals without an on-site cardiac surgery program had a 29% increased risk of mortality compared with patients who underwent the procedure in hospitals with an on-site program, according to a study led by Dartmouth Medical School researchers. The study examined the outcomes of coronary angioplasty for more than 600,000 Medicare patients from 1999 to 2001. "Our findings suggest that the current 'wave' to move (angioplasty) into hospitals that don't have coronary artery bypass surgery programs should be questioned," said David Wennberg, the study's lead author and an adjunct associate professor at Dartmouth. The study was published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association. Read the abstract. -- by Cinda Becker
Study questions safety of expanding angioplasty
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