Managing heart disease through quality stents

New Delhi: With cardiovascular diseases becoming new epidemic in the country, affecting younger and older population alike, treatment modalities are evolving rapidly to improve clinical outcomes and help patients live an active and productive life post-treatment

Responsible for 25% of all deaths in the country, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) have also become a leading cause of premature mortality in terms of years of life lost. From the year 1990 to 2010, early deaths, because of CVD in India, have reportedly increased by a staggering 59%.

By getting affected with heart conditions in working age, people not only lose out their productive years but also add to the overall economic burden of the disease.

According to a paper, published in the Journal of Harvard School of Public health, cardiovascular disease deaths alone give India the “highest loss in potentially productive years of life” of all countries in the world.

“Compounded with a steep rise in the number of young patients, in Rajasthan itself, CVD contributes to approximately 11 percent of the disease burden. I get around 15 percent heart patients below 45 years of age in a month. The major reasons contributing to the early onset of the disease are work-related stress, unhealthy lifestyle, family history, diabetes, and habits like smoking, drinking and lack of sleep. Fortunately, the continuous advancement in technology is changing the way cardiovascular diseases are diagnosed early and treated effectively. But the key to it lies in early recognition of the susceptible individuals and its prevention,” says Dr. Sanjeeb Roy, Director, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Jaipur.

Along with these risk factors, the lack of preventive measures at the appropriate time sometimes leads to an elevated risk of having a cardiac disease. In this case, the patient might require undergoing a surgical procedure like stenting to treat the complication. The stent is placed inside the artery through a process called coronary angioplasty, also known as Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI).

While the type of stent used depends upon individual patient conditions, the most important thing to be kept in mind when choosing a stent is the quality of stent.

A stent, once implanted, remains in the body forever and hence, the quality of the device should be given prime importance. A bad quality stent might result in stent thrombosis and restenosis and can be fatal for the patient in some cases. This is why cardiologists always emphasize on using the highest quality stent.

“With other innovations in cardiac technologies, advances are also taking place in the sphere of devices. A clear example of this is the consistent evolution in stent technology, leading to the development of newer generation stents. However, whichever stents are chosen for placement, it is important to understand that quality plays a vital role in improvising overall patient outcomes. Preference should be given to a stent which has been backed by significant clinical data and has gone through stringent approval norms. In this regard, US FDA approved drug-eluting stents (DES) have been proven to be the most effective,” says Dr. Prakash Chandwani, Director, Heart & General Hospital, Jaipur.

Thus, better quality stent technologies further help to improve the clinical outcomes and optimize the PCI.