Study: Age not a risk factor with some procedures

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Procedures and even some drug trials once thought too risky for people aged 80 or higher are safer than previously thought, according to a new study.

Researchers compared the after-effects of angioplasty, arterial stents and diagnostic arteriography on a group of people 80 years and older, with a group between the ages of 50 and 79. In both groups, complications were minimal and none of the elderly people required hospitalization. Traditionally, elderly patients have been kept overnight in hospitals for observation for all three procedures.

The purpose of the study was to show that age alone is not a risk factor, one researcher said. Still, researchers and experts warn that each case must be taken on an individual basis. Findings of the report were presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology on Tuesday.