NICE backs drugs over surgery for angina

Patients with stable angina should be first offered drug therapy before surgery is considered, according to a clinical guideline published by NICE.

The guideline recommends patients are offered one or two anti-anginal drugs as necessary, plus drugs for secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Where stable angina is not controlled by these drugs, clinicians should consider revascularisation by a coronary artery bypass graft or percutaneous coronary intervention.

Northamptonshire GP Dr Jonathan Shribman, a GPSI in cardiology who helped develop the guideline, said: ‘This guideline clarifies the evidence-based management for stable angina and makes very clear who should be offered revascularisation and who should not.’

NICE clinical and public health director Professor Peter Littlejohns said the guideline will ‘improve patient care by allowing clinicians and their patients to make an informed decision in individual circumstances’.

An estimated two million people in England have or have had stable angina.

Click here for an in-depth look at the new guideline by Dr Shibman and Rotherham GP Dr Leonard Jacob, a GPSI in cardiology and cardiovascular disease.

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