More seniors surviving after heart surgery

Instead of succumbing to medication, seniors are tackling heart disease head-on with surgery and winning.

More seniors of all ages are electing to undergo open-heart surgery and their survival rates have been good, the New York Times reports.

In the past, doctors prescribed medication to ease the symptoms of the disease. Now they are identifying more people who are healthy enough to have the operation, according to the article.

More seniors surviving after heart surgery

Dr Harlan M Krumholz, a Yale cardiologist who has done separate research on older heart patients, told the New York Times, "Age itself shouldn't be an automatic exclusion."

The new findings come from two studies presented at the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2008 in New Orleans.

Also at the conference, a separate study showed the number of seniors in the U.S. admitted to hospitals with heart failure has doubled in the past 27 years, suggesting the trend of older people taking a chance on surgery has been longstanding, Medical News Today reports.

There were a total of 699,000 open-heart surgeries performed in the U.S. in 2005.

This follows news reports over the weekend the anti-cholesterol drug Crestor can significantly lower the rate of heart attacks and stroke in people with low cholesterol.

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