Heart pills better than bypass, says expert

Posted at 02/06/2013 11:48 PM | Updated as of 02/07/2013 12:44 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Except in emergency cases, taking preventive medication for heart diseases is more effective than a heart bypass operation, according to a US-based Filipino cardiologist.

Dr. Rolly de Goma, medical director of Princeton Preventive Cardiology in New Jersey, said the method in treating stroke and heart attack is changing in the US.

“Ngayon sa America, ang paggamot sa stroke at heart attack ay nag-iiba na. Ang mga ginagawa mostly ay bypass at stent, pero ito ay napaka-expensive…In addition, it’s not as good as prevention, mas effective ang prevention sa gamot because stent only treats one particular plaque, samantalang ang gamot, ang plaque sa utak at heart ay nati-treat,” he told dzMM’s “Magandang Gabi, Dok” on Wednesday.

De Goma noted that the approach in treating heart ailments is shifting from aggressive, invasive intervention and bypass to comprehensive medical therapy.

“Ang gamot, kung tama, can alter the course of illness, stop progression, sometimes induce regression, which is not possible with stent and bypass,” he said.

De Goma said doctors in the US have been focusing on prevention for the last 2 years, as part of an initiative to prevent a million strokes and heart attacks for the next 5 years.

He said individuals who are likely to develop a heart attack or stroke are those diagnosed with diabetes, and those who have already undergone a heart bypass or stroke.

There are also risk factors that make individuals prone to heart diseases, such as males over 45 years old, females over 55 years old, blood pressure higher than 140, high cholesterol, smoking and family history.

De Goma added that because the Filipino diet is “not very healthy”, Filipinos are prone to heart ailments.

He suggests eating more fish, vegetables, fruits and chicken, and less fat in pork and beef.