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Medical Mysteries of the Heart Opinion

Scientists have made enormous gains in reducing deaths from coronary heart disease, the leading cause of heart attacks, but it is astonishing how much they still don't know. That leaves patients and their doctors uncertain about the best way to fight a disease that is still the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.

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Dr. Sears Comments:

Dr. Barry Sears

When I was doing cardiovascular research in the mid-1970s, the best way to induce a new lesion in chimpanzees was to do a balloon angioplasty in a normal artery because the inflammation it induced would quickly create an atherosclerotic lesion.  Somehow it was thought if you put a steel bridge to support the inflamed artery, then you would be OK.  Maybe that’s why about 1/3 of stents fail today because the inflammation is still being induced and eventually overwhelms the steel bridge.

 

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