October 4, 2005

Drug-coated stents are better for diabetic patients than bare metal stents, a recent study finds. According to results published in the Oct. 4 issue of Circulation, diabetics who used bare metal stents had a significantly higher rate of artery-narrowing than patients using drug-eluting stents (DES).

The study included 160 people with diabetes, half of whom used bare metal stents after angioplasty. The other half used stents coated with the drug sirolimus. In the nine months following the procedure, the arteries of patients given DES narrowed by an average of 0.06 mm, while the arteries of patients using bare metal stents narrowed by an average of 0.47 mm.

This difference had a significant effect on patients' health, the study found. While 29 of the 80 patients who got the bare metal stents died or experienced adverse events such as heart attacks, only eight of the 80 patients who received DES had such problems. Also, while 25 of the patients with the bare metal stents needed repeat angioplasty, only five of the patients with DES needed a repeat procedure.

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