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The 5 year effect of bypass surgery on relief of angina and exercise performance

Hultgren, H.N.; Peduzzi, P.; Detre, K.; Takaro, T.

Circulation 72(6 Part 2): V79-V83

1985


ISSN/ISBN: 0009-7322
PMID: 3905061
Accession: 029291609

The 5 year effect of medical vs surgical treatment on symptoms and exercise performance was evaluated in patients with stable angina who entered the Veterans Administration Cooperative Study from 1972 to 1974. Severity of angina was evaluated by a physician-administered angina questionnaire and physical working capacity was assessed by exercise testing. Angina was substantially relieved in surgical patients at 1 year, with 78% having mild or no angina compared with only 28% at entry. The corresponding rates in medical patients showed little change: 38% at 1 year and 32% at entry. At 5 years the percentage of surgical patients with mild or absent angina decreased from the 1 year rate of 78% to 64%, whereas the medical group exhibited a small increase from 38% to 49%. Similar results were obtained by evaluating changes in angina compared to entry. At 1 year 49% of surgical patients were markedly improved compared with only 12% of medical patients. At 5 years the percentage of surgical patients who remained markedly improved decreased to 41%, whereas the medical group with marked improvement increased slightly from 12% at 1 year to 17% at 5 years. Medication requirements were markedly reduced in surgical patients with only a slight increase in medical patients. Exclusion of nonadherers from the analysis did not change the results. Exercise testing revealed comparable changes in physical performance. At 1 year surgical patients had fewer tests stopped by angina compared with medical patients (28% vs 64%), a higher estimated oxygen consumption (26 vs 21 ml/kg/min) and treadmill exercise duration (7.3 vs 4.9 min). Other measures of exercise performance were comparably improved.

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