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Although the Bypass Angioplasty Revascularization Investigation (BARI) revealed that patients treated with angioplasty have more heart-related deaths than those who undergo bypass surgery, a study now reveals that the higher rate is due to a large proportion of deaths of people with diabetes.
Though the death rate for angio patients was 8% compared with 5% for bypass patients, no significant differences in death rates were found among nondiabetic patients within the study. "The long-term outcome of patients with multivessel coronary disease is not compromised among nondiabetic patients when angioplasty is chosen as the initial strategy," says Bernard Chaitman, MD, chief of cardiology at St. Louis University School of Medicine and a study principal.