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Big study casts doubt on need for many heart procedures

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THE
ASSOCIATED PRESS

People
with severe but stable heart disease from clogged arteries may have
less chest pain if they get a procedure to improve blood flow rather
than just giving medicines a chance to help, but it won’t cut their
risk of having a heart attack or dying over the following few years,
a big federally funded study found. The results challenge medical
dogma and call into question some of the most common practices in
heart care. They are the strongest evidence yet that tens of
thousands of costly stent procedures and bypass operations each year
are unnecessary or premature for people with stable disease. That’s a
different situation than a heart attack, when a procedure is needed
right away to restore blood flow.

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