Thursday, August 19, 2010

Talk to your doctor

The quick takeaway from this story: If you are diagnosed with this condition, get a reason for the specific treatment your doctor recommends. Each has its own set of risks, benefits. Have your doctor spell out each.

Stroke prevention treatment varies widely across U.S.
Carotid artery disease occurs when plaque fills up major arteries supplying blood to the brain, greatly raising stroke risk.

There are three common treatments for the condition: an artery-scraping surgery called endarterectomy; the placement of a stent to keep the artery open; or the use of cholesterol and antihypertensive medications to help lower stroke risk.

The new report finds that patients can expect to be offered different treatments depending on where in the United States they live - a sign that there's no consensus on the best way to treat the condition, according to Duke University researchers.

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