Study finds stroke-prevention surgery safe in growing 80-plus population

Oct 10, 2008

New research published in the October issue of Journal of the American College of Surgeons challenges the current opinion that patients in their eighties, who are often deemed "high-risk" due to their advanced age, should not undergo carotid endarterectomy – a stroke-preventing surgical procedure that clears blockages from the neck's carotid arteries.

Approximately 700,000 new and recurrent strokes occur annually in the United States, and it is estimated that 10 to 20 percent of them are related to carotid artery disease.

Several clinical trials have suggested that carotid endarterectomy can be used to safely and effectively prevent strokes in patients younger than 80 years of age. However, because of the perception that patients in their eighties and nineties are at increased risk, clinicians have recommended that these patients receive alternative treatments such as stenting.

"Age alone should not place patients in the high-risk category for carotid endarterectomy," said study authors Steven Katz, MD, FACS, and Amy Bremner, MD, of the Huntington Hospital, Pasadena, CA, and the Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA. "As the elderly population surges, it is crucial to identify strategies that can potentially limit the devastating consequences of stroke and its impact on the health care budget. Our study shows that carotid endarterectomy remains the treatment of choice in patients 80 years of age and older with substantial blockage of the carotid arteries."

The retrospective study, which analyzed the outcomes of 103 carotid endarterectomies in 95 patients between the ages of 80 and 94 years (59 men and 36 women; mean age = 83.7 years), showed a low incidence of neurologic complications, with only one transient ischemic attack (0.97 percent), two minor strokes (1.94 percent) and one major stroke (0.97 percent). There were no deaths within 30 days of operation. The combined stroke and death rate was 2.91 percent.

Source: Weber Shandwick Worldwide

Explore further: Experts call for higher exam pass marks to close performance gap between international and UK medical graduates

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New results in carotid artery stenosis versus endarterectomy

Dec 01, 2010

Doctors have long known that patients with carotid artery stenosis, narrowed blood vessels in the neck, are at significant risk for a stroke. The condition has severe implications. Annually, in the United States, 795,000 ...

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Cancer stem cells linked to drug resistance

Most drugs used to treat lung, breast and pancreatic cancers also promote drug-resistance and ultimately spur tumor growth. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered ...

Easter morning delivery for space station

Space station astronauts got a special Easter treat: a cargo ship full of supplies. The shipment arrived Sunday morning via the SpaceX company's Dragon cargo capsule.