ISCHEMIA Study: Suggests Heart Surgery is No Longer Necessary in 1 Million Cases

ISCHEMIA Study: Suggests Heart Surgery is No Longer Necessary in 1 Million Cases

In a recent article, we discussed how the new ‘STICH Trials’ may have proven that medical therapy may be enough to treat those who are at-risk for heart attacks or heart failure. Now, this is further proven by the newly presented ISCHEMIA study.

The ISCHEMIA Study found that there was no significant evidence that patients with severe (but stable) heart disease saw any improvement after having undergone heart procedures to decrease the risk of heart-related events — at least when compared to the rates of those who choose to forego heart surgery and stuck to medical therapy and lifestyle changes alone.

Who Was Behind ISCHEMIA?

The ISCHEMIA Study was led by researchers from the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Stanford University. As mentioned, it was published late 2019 (specifically, November 2019).

This study was at least twice as large as similar studies in the same field, with over 5,179 patients randomly assigned to 320 different sites from 37 countries. With two groups receiving two completely different treatment procedures to compare the stroke patient’s quality of life after invasive and conservative treatment, respectively (an aspect that was under the responsibility of the Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute and DCRI.)

About the ISCHEMIA Study

The ISCHEMIA Study was a federally funded (by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute), international study that was presented and released in late 2019. This study, according to NYU Langone Health, had led researchers to conclude that routine, invasive procedures (such as bypass surgery or stent implantation), was no longer strictly necessary. 

In fact, they didn’t see much difference between the mortality rates of patients who chose invasive procedures to those who chose the simpler route — taking only medications and making slow changes to their livelihoods.

This is what led them to conclude that heart surgeries may have become somewhat obsolete. At least, in comparison to the past — when little was known about the condition, and the medical therapy and treatments available to handle such a condition were limited and only somewhat effective.

Does ISCHEMIA Apply to You?

Bear in mind that, while ISCHEMIA does prove that heart surgeries and other invasive procedures, may no longer be necessary for some, it doesn’t mean that is the case for everyone. To be more precise…

Researchers have found that patients that present symptoms of angina (potentially debilitating chest pain caused by restricted blood flow), do see increased mortality rates when treated by invasive treatments — potentially resulting in over 4 years of symptom relief. The stats for this are as follows…

50% of those who went through invasive procedures were angina-free after a year. Whilst only 20% were relieved of their symptoms through medical therapy or well-meaning lifestyle changes in the same time span.

This means, that the results are relative. You can be a part of those 1 million patients that may no longer need heart surgery. But, depending on your own unique circumstances, more aggressive treatments may be recommended in order to allow you to live a normal life.

How does ISCHEMIA Affect You?

ISCHEMIA, also called the International Study of Comparative Health Effectiveness with Medical and Invasive Approaches, represents a solid solution.

That is, if you, or anyone amongst your family and close friends, are at a risk for heart attacks or heart disease, then there is something that can be done that doesn’t involve expensive and potentially dangerous surgeries.

It’s relieving knowledge. It’s a choice. Now, if your doctor recommends it, you can choose to go the natural route (with steady lifestyle changes), or the simple medication route (wherein you will be provided with medication like statins or aspirin to control the symptoms of your condition).

ISCHEMIA Study: Suggests Heart Surgery is No Longer Necessary in 1 Million Cases

ISCHEMIA opens doors to a better understanding of heart diseases. According to the most recent statistics, at least 48% of the adults in the United States have some form of cardiovascular disease.

If you, or anyone you know, are at risk for a heart attack or disease, talk to your doctor today and find out how ISCHEMIA has affected you specifically.


  1.  ISCHEMIA Trial Finds No Evidence of Lower Cardiac Event Rates in Patients Treated with Heart Procedures, But Better Quality of Life. (n.d.). Retrieved June 30, 2020, from 

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