The complete guidelines will appear in the June issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. An executive summary appears in the June 7 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
Dr. Raymond Gibbons
Mayo Clinic cardiologist and chair of the committee that wrote the guidelines
Heart disease caused by insufficient blood and oxygen flow to the heart muscle is the single leading cause of death in the United States. The most common manifestation of this disease is chronic stable angina, a form of chest pain that causes discomfort in the chest, jaw, shoulder, back or arm and is typically aggravated by exertion or emotional stress. Stable angina has a predictable pattern for a prolonged time.
New guidelines published by three major national medical organizations emphasize a simple treatment mnemonic -- ABCDE -- that outlines the ten most important treatment elements of stable angina management:
A -- Aspirin, anti-anginal drugs
B -- Blood pressure control, beta-blocker drugs
C -- Cholesterol, cigarettes
D -- Diet, diabetes
E -- Exercise, education of the patient
Other key findings include:
- Lipid-lowering therapies clearly improve patient outcomes.
- Vitamin E and Vitamin C therapy have not yet been proven.
- Chelation therapy, garlic and acupuncture are not effective and in some cases may be potentially harmful.
- Use of electron beam computed tomography has not been clearly demonstrated to be a beneficial diagnostic technique.
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