Current issues in coronary artery stenting in the elderly

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The aim of this review is to present current trends and outcomes among elderly patients undergoing coronary stenting for treatment of symptomatic coronary artery disease. Elderly patients are at higher risk for morbidity and mortality after coronary revascularization procedures. Acute and long-term outcomes relative to increased baseline risk factors and other competing mortality risks are reviewed for stenting and the alternatives of medical or surgical treatment. Improvement in quality of life is discussed as an outcome that some have regarded as more germane than simple survival in this population. Caution is urged for the often avoidable complications related to vascular injury, bleeding and contrast nephropathy, which are more common in the elderly after stenting and are independently associated with increased mortality. The authors also review the increasing relevance of coronary stent outcomes among the elderly in the context of the newer drug-eluting stents that have revolutionized percutaneous revascularization strategies.

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