California Center of Longevity Medicine
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Los Angeles Longevity & Functional Medicine Doctor

Dr. Allan Kurtz

Board Certified Internal Medicine
Fellowship in Functional Medicine

Heart Attack and Stroke
Prevention Center of Southern California

Health Tips Blog

Coronary Heart Disease: Preventative Measures Prove as Effective as Stents & Bypass Surgery in treating CAD

By: California Center of Longevity & Functional Medicine on January 10, 2020

Each year, approximately 1 million Americans undergo invasive and expensive stent surgery or bypass surgery to treat Coronary Heart Disease (also called Ischemic Heart Disease or CAD). However, the results of a new $100 Million ISCHEMIA clinical trial have revealed that stents and bypass surgery are not better than lifestyle changes and medication when it comes to preventing heart attacks, or death from heart attacks in those who have CAD. The study was the largest of its kind, spanning more than 7 years, and has the potential to transform the medical community, while sparing many patients the risks and high costs of surgery.

The ISCHEMIA study, as its name indicates, focused on ischemia, a medical condition which occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries, restricting blood flow to the heart. The study included more than 5,100 men and women. One group received Optimal Medical Therapy only, which included lifestyle advice (diet, exercise, weight loss), and medication to reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, and/or other conditions. The other group also received Optimal Medical Therapy and underwent stents and bypass surgery.

Over the course of seven years, all participants were monitored for five specific medical events. These included, death, heart attack, resuscitation after heart attack, hospitalization for chest pain, and hospitalization for heart failure. Over the course of the study, there was virtually no difference in the rates of these events between the groups who were treated with non-invasive lifestyle and medications only, or those who had stent surgery or a bypass.


The findings of the study revealed that surgery for those who have Coronary Heart Disease is not more effective at treating ischemia, than non-invasive methods. In other words, many people having stent surgery or bypass surgery in Los Angeles may be treated equally as well with medication and lifestyle changes. This not only lowers the risks associated with any type of surgery, but it could prove to save millions of dollars.

In fact, Dr. Judith Hochman, who presented the results of the study stated: "In line with evidence from prior studies, our results suggest that routine use of heart procedures was not superior in reducing risk for the five-part disease endpoint or death overall compared to treatment only with optimal medical therapy."

At the Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Center of Southern California, Dr. Allan Kurtz focuses his practice on reducing risk of heart attack and stroke. From non-invasive treatments including medication, to an emphasis on helping men and women to make healthy lifestyle choices including diet modification, exercise, stress reduction, and more, Dr. Kurtz also offers advanced testing for heart disease inflammation, so that men and women in Los Angeles know their risk for developing cardiovascular disease. Tests include advanced lipid testing, CT scans of Coronary Arteries, Carotid Artery Intimal Thickness Ultrasounds, and more.

To learn more about assessing your risk for cardiovascular disease, heart attack, or stroke, and to begin taking steps to prevent these conditions, or manage existing conditions including high blood pressure, and cholesterol, schedule an appointment with Dr. Allan Kurtz today by calling 818.346.1440

Dr. Allan Kurtz specializes in creating ideal health and longevity plans for patients of all ages. Fellowship trained in Integrative and Functional Medicine, Dr. Kurtz is also a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and The Institute for Functional Medicine. The California Center of Longevity & Functional Medicine and the Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Center of Southern California are based in Woodland Hills, CA.