Medicine: When Less May Be More

A heart study finds drugs as effective as invasive methods

When people have a heart attack today, they are likely to be given powerful drugs to dissolve the clots that block the flow of blood to the cardiac muscle. But the drugs are generally used only to buy time until invasive procedures can be performed. These include angiography, the injection of a material into the coronary arteries to identify by X ray the 1 patient in 6 apt to have another attack; and balloon angioplasty, the threading into a blocked artery of a catheter with a tiny balloon on the end that presses plaque against the artery wall and widens the...

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