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SIR: Arterial Procedures Safe and Effective in Over-80s

Age should not be a barrier to diagnostic angiography and arterial interventions

THURSDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- Octogenarians can safely undergo diagnostic angiography as well as interventions such as vascular stenting and angioplasty with results similar to those of their younger counterparts, according to a paper presented at the 33rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology held this week in Washington, D.C.

George G. Hartnell, of Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass., and colleagues conducted a study of 64 octogenarians who were treated for peripheral arterial disease caused by blocked arteries in the legs, or to improve blood flow to the kidneys, using arterial angioplasty and/or stenting.

The investigators found that results for this age group were comparable for those aged 50 to 79 treated with an equivalent procedure during the same time period by the same doctor. All could be treated as outpatients.

"This is important news for seniors and their doctors. In some cases, doctors may be reluctant to send an older person for treatment. There's no reason for seniors with leg pain caused by peripheral arterial disease to put up with pain, limited mobility and diminished quality of life," said Hartnell, in a statement.

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