Evaluation of different treatment methods

Drugs used alongside heart conditions and transplants prolong life.

NHS data shows the life expectancy of heart transplant patients:

Life expectancy (years)Proportion of patients (%)
> 180–90
> 570–75
> 1050

Evaluating treatment methods

TreatmentAdvantagesDisadvantages
Drugs - statinsReduce the risk of heart attack. Studies have shown a decrease in 'bad cholesterol' and an increase in 'good cholesterol'. Used to reduce high cholesterol levels that have genetic causes. May have beneficial effects on other conditions. Not suitable for people with liver disease. Some side effects. Must be taken for life. Should not be taken if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Heart transplantImprove quality of life.Few donor hearts are available. Recovery time is long. There is a risk of rejection by the body's immune system.
StentsWiden coronary arteries that have not responded to drug treatment. The recovery time is short following insertion of the stent.In a minority of cases, further treatment is required.
Lifestyle changesThese include stopping smoking, reducing alcohol intake, eating a balanced diet and regular exercise. These changes will improve the health of all people; those with and without cardiovascular disease.These changes alone may not be enough to prevent further complications.
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