Between six months and two years after the initial treatment, those who had a coronary artery bypass graft reported less chest pain, fewer physical limitations and better quality of life, according to the study. After two years, no significant differences existed between the two groups with regard to these patient-reported outcomes.
"If people with diabetes have severe coronary artery disease with symptoms, they should have a full discussion with their physician about available revascularization procedures. Guidelines give a strong preference to CABG, but treatment has to be individualized," Cohen said.
Zonszein agreed that coronary artery bypass graft is usually "the right procedure to do in patients with diabetes who have symptoms." He added that this study also points out the importance of trying to prevent vascular disease in the first place. Medications to lower cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar are all important for people with diabetes, he said.
Learn more about procedures to open the heart's blood vessels from the American Heart Association.
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