SAN FRANCISCO —
The original catheter-based treatment — balloon angioplasty — is still used hundreds of thousands of times each year in the U.S. alone. A Japanese company, Terumo Corp., is one of the leaders of a new way to do it that is easier on patients — through a catheter in the arm rather than the groin.
Newer stents that prop arteries open and then dissolve over time, aimed at reducing the risk of blood clots, also are in late-stage testing.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
About 75 million Americans and 1 billion people worldwide have high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart attacks. Researchers are testing a possible long-term fix for dangerously high pressure that can’t be controlled with multiple medications.
It uses a catheter and radio waves to zap nerves, located near the kidneys, which fuel high blood pressure. At least one device is approved in Europe and several companies are testing devices in the United States.
“We’re very excited about this,” said Harold, the cardiology college’s president. It offers hope to “essentially cure high blood pressure.”
For more information:
Heart conditions and treatments: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/index.htm
American Heart Association: www.heart.org
Atrial fibrillation info: http://bit.ly/odcTTM
Marilynn Marchione can be followed at http://twitter.com/MMarchioneAP.