SCAI survey shows heart patients’ quality of life significantly improved after angioplasty


A new survey conducted by the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) has found that four out of five (81%) patients say their lives have changed for the better following angioplasty.

SCAI has also published a comprehensive review of research on quality of life following angioplasty and stenting. The paper offers recommendations to guide healthcare providers in choosing the best cardiovascular treatment to benefit patients and enhance their quality of life. The consensus paper appears in Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions (CCI).

The survey and paper are part of an effort by SCAI to assess how quality of life is affected by heart disease symptoms and treatment. The online survey: “Living life to your heart’s content: Patients speak,” was conducted between 11 May and 21 June 2012. It included more than 460 adult heart disease patients in the United States who underwent scheduled or unscheduled angioplasty, stenting or heart bypass surgery in the past three years.

The survey found that those who underwent angioplasty experienced dramatic improvement in quality of life in every one of 10 categories including their ability to perform basic physical activity, opportunities for socialising, sex life, ability to do chores and run errands, participate in hobbies, feel financially secure and improve relationships with spouses/significant others, family and friends.

Other results from the survey:


  • Angioplasty patients were able to return to work nearly three times faster than heart surgery patients: This is important to consider as the average retirement age in the United States is increasing and more baby boomers are choosing to delay retirement.
  • Patients who underwent angioplasty required less care post-procedure and felt they were less of a burden to family and friends: 16% of angioplasty patients said they felt like a burden to family and friends, compared to 34% for heart surgery patients.

“The survey results show a nearly two-fold reduction in symptoms such as chest discomfort and shortness of breath following angioplasty, and many of the patients reported having tried medical therapy for as long as seven to eight years to try and achieve similar results,” said J Jeffrey Marshall, SCAI president. “We see it every day in our patients. They come in with debilitating symptoms that interfere with their quality of life and we are able to get them back to living their lives not long after their procedure.”

The paper, titled “Effect of percutaneous coronary intervention on quality of life: A consensus statement from the society for cardiovascular angiography and interventions,” highlights recommendations including:


  • Informed Consent: The physician should present treatment options and the risks and benefits of each, as well as the quality of life associated with each option.
  • Choice of Strategy: Both coronary stenting and bypass surgery have short and long-term advantages and disadvantages. The patient should be fully informed of the trade-offs they are considering when choosing treatment options.
  • Quality of Life: The patient’s quality of life should be taken into consideration in all aspects of angioplasty and stenting care, from the initial assessment through the public reporting of results.

“Today’s survey results reinforce current clinical and scientific research. We have reviewed past literature and that, combined with our patients’ perspective, makes a very compelling case for the effectiveness of angioplasty and stenting on improving quality of life,” said lead author James C Blankenship. “Improving a patient’s quality of life is a key benefit that is important for healthcare providers to evaluate as they work with their patients to determine the best treatment approach.”

The paper underscores many of the survey findings, including angioplasty and stenting’s ability to:


  • Enhance heart disease patients’ exercise capacity;
  • Alleviate angina or chest pain more effectively than medical therapy in patients with stable angina; and
  • More effectively enhance quality of life shortly after the procedure when compared to heart bypass surgery, because patients are able to return to work sooner