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J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1978 Jan;75(1):1-16.

Survival of men treated for chronic stable angina pectoris. A cooperative randomized study.


During 1972 to 1974, 686 men aged 27 to 67 years, admitted to thirteen Veterans Administration Hospitals with stable angina, resting or exercise electrocardiographic abnormalities, "graftable" arteries, and abnormal left ventricular function (80 percent) were randomly assigned to surgery (332) or medical (354) treatment. There was no significant difference in clinical, angiographic, and ventriculographic characteristics. The over-all operative mortality rate (30 days) was 5.8 percent, 5 percent in the 95 percent who had saphenous vein aorta-coronary bypass alone. Eighty-nine percent of the 79 percent recatheterized at 1 year had at least one patent graft. Longevity for patients with one, two, and three vessel disease who were treated surgically was comparable to that previously described, but did not differ from that of the medically treated groups. Survival in the over-all surgical group was 86 percent at 4 years as compared to 83 percent in the medical group, which in these "operative candidates" is better than usually cited. This difference was eliminated when the 90 patients (13 percent) with left main disease, whose longevity was significantly improved (p = 0.005) by the operation, were excluded. Despite this exclusion, a slight trend in favor of surgery was still discernible in the largest subgroup, those having triple vessel disease with an abnormal left ventricle.

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