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American Heart Association Comment On Hospitalization Of President Bill Clinton

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Volunteers and staff of the American Heart Association extend their thoughts and well wishes to former President Bill Clinton upon the reports that he has undergone a procedure to insert stents to widen narrowed coronary arteries. President Clinton, who underwent quadruple coronary bypass surgery in 2004, partnered with the Association through his Foundation to jointly form the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity in the United States.
"While we don't know the exact particulars of President Clinton's situation, we do know that stents work and work well for chest pain, especially in abrupt or emergency settings," said Clyde Yancy, president of the American Heart Association and medical director at the Baylor Heart and Vascular Institute in Dallas, Texas. "Bypass surgery is effective but it is not a cure and recurrent pain such as it appears he experienced is not unexpected."
Yancy said if a bypass is done with veins, there is about a 50 percent chance of some disease reoccurring in the bypass grafts; if done with arteries there is about a 90 percent chance or greater that the vessel will be open and functional at 10 years and beyond.
"The important thing to remember is that blocked blood vessels and heart attacks are not 'events' but are a 'disease,'" he said. "Diseases do progress and must be managed and where possible prevented."
"Prevention is so crucial in our fight against heart disease and President Clinton has been an incredible partner with us on the Alliance for a Healthier Generation," said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association. "Over the past five years of our relationship, the American Heart Association has been honored to work with the former president and as a result of our partnership the Alliance has had an unprecedented impact on the childhood obesity epidemic. We are very encouraged by reports that he appears to be recovering and in good spirits and we send him our best wishes."
Here are a few statistics on coronary angioplasty and stenting:
- Over 70 percent of coronary angioplasty procedures also include stenting.
- In 2006, approximately 65% of PCI procedures were performed on men, and approximately 50% were performed on people age 65 or older.
- In 2006, approximately 76% of stents implanted during PCI were drug-eluting, compared with 24% of bare-metal stents.
- In 2006, there were 652,000 PCI procedures with stents - 425,000 in men, 227,000 in women.
Click here for the American Heart Association's stent information page.
American Heart Association
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