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The Benefits of Drug-Eluting Stents for Women With Coronary Artery Disease

We now have some data about the safety and effectiveness of the drug-eluting stent (DES) in women. What does this research say? For women with coronary artery disease (and men as well), the DES shows a definite benefit over the bare-metal stent. In particular, the newer, next-generation DES has an even greater advantage, as it's associated with a lower risk of blood clots.


What Is Coronary Artery Disease?

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a condition characterized by a buildup of plaque on the walls of the arteries. This causes the artery walls to become narrow and harden. As a result, blood flow is restricted. If left untreated, this condition can lead to a heart attack.
You may have heard this condition just referred to as "heart disease"; you may have also thought that it primarily affected men. Not true! CAD is the leading cause of death in women. One out of two women will die from complications related to CAD, and two-thirds of women who have a heart attack as a result will fail to make a full recovery.
Heart disease can be especially difficult to treat in women because it is often diagnosed after the disease has progressed quite a bit. In addition, women often fail to recognize early symptoms of heart disease. For many women, the first sign they have CAD is a heart attack.

What Is a Drug-Eluting Stent?

Previously, there used to be just one kind of stent to treat CAD: the bare-metal stent. A stent is a mesh tube that helps keep the arteries open and prevent the walls from narrowing again.
Recent developments, however, have led to what is called a drug-eluting stent (DES). With this device, the mesh tube of the stent is coated with a medicine that is slowly and continuously released into the artery, preventing it from becoming blocked again. Drug-eluting stents are now split up into two categories, older-generation (or first-generation) stents and newer-generation (or second-generation or next-generation) stents, based on the type of coating on the mesh.
Life After a Stent: 5 Realistic Ways to Take Charge of Your Health

Coronary Stent Information

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