Study: Drug-eluting stents can aid patients in their 80s

Patients in their 80s can benefit from drug-eluting stents, according to results from a major new study that otherwise missed its primary endpoints, theheart.org reports.

The XIMA study looked at 800 elderly patients. Researchers randomized 401 to receive a bare-metal stent for cardiac treatment. The remaining 399 received Abbott's ($ABT) Xience everolimus-eluting stent, according to the story. 

Both arms experienced similar overall rates of death, significant hemorrhage, heart attack and recurrent blockages, the article explains. But patients with bare-metal stents experienced higher rates of heart attacks and recurrent blockages. 

Patients ages 80 and over aren't typically included in trials involving drug-eluting stents. So the study is significant in that it supports their use in the patient population and appears to offer a viable alternative to drug therapy, a treatment that carriers its own issues with elderly patients including drug-interaction challenges, side effects and a struggle to get these patients to take their medicine on time. Researchers particularly note that the rates of major hemorrhages were no worse in elderly patients with the drug-eluting stent.

Scientists presented details of the study at TCT 2012 in Miami.

- here's theheart.org story (sub. req)

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