Angina? You may NOT need that stent after all!
Well, it’s officially happened: The mainstream has gone out of its mind!
It’s now pushing an operation on heart patients that it ADMITS might not work, and it’s using a study it ADMITS is flawed to make the case.
The reason? Hey, at least patients might get a placebo effect out of it!
If someone in natural medicine ever made that claim, the mainstream would shut him down faster than you can say “quack.”
But since this is a mainstream research team pushing an operation that the mainstream already loves, it’s practically applauding.
The procedure is percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for stable angina patients, a.k.a. stenting. It’s incredibly common and is supposed to help ease or eliminate angina pain during exertion such as exercise (in some cases, just climbing the stairs).
Well, it WAS incredibly common… until last year, when a major study found that it’s no better than a placebo.
In that study, some patients got the stents, while others went under and THOUGHT they got stents.
Over six weeks, they had the same benefit.
The results were so stunning that some doctors stopped doing the operation for these cases.
Now, a new study by the same team claims that maybe they should climb back aboard the stent wagon.
On the surface, it certainly LOOKS legit.
Folks who had the operation got real and measurable benefits. They not only FELT better during exercise and afterward, they had several improvements inside the body, including better blood flow.
But don’t sign up for a stent yet.
There are some BIG problems here -- starting with the fact that some of these patients may not have even had angina!
The previous study used a common one-month evaluation to diagnose the angina patients. In this case, the patients were diagnosed on the spot using an “unvalidated” measure.
The other study also didn’t use pre-loading of meds. In this one, the patients got both heparin and nitroglycerin.
And in the other, researchers used a true placebo group of patients who thought they had the operation, but didn’t. In this one, the stent patients were simply compared to people with angina who got nothing at all and knew it.
That’s just nuts. That means that there could have been a pretty strong placebo effect, and the researchers even ADMIT as much!
Or maybe it’s a heparin effect.
Who knows? Not the researchers, because this study wasn’t good enough to sort it out.
Clearly, stenting can be important in some patients with some conditions. This still doesn’t seem to be one of them, especially when compared to natural therapies such as a sugar-like molecule called D-ribose, which can help angina patients get more activity with less chest pain.