Altman, Lawrence K. "Bypass Found to Give Patients Best Chance," Albany Times Union, 14
April 1989, pp. 1, A12.
Here is a new study of bypass surgery reported in the Journal of the American Medical
Association. As the title suggests, the article has it that bypass surgery is beneficial. This
constitutes a refutation to previous reports by the NIH, which said that the surgery is essentially
ineffective in lengthening life.
The authors of this favorable report are from Duke University Medical Center and this study is
reported to be the largest of its kind ever undertaken. All the patients treated were from Duke.
These authors contend that previous studies which reported unfavorably on the procedure were
flawed because they relied on random selection of patients for medical, pharmaceutical, and
surgical options. This study is reported to be a better one because it utilized modern surgical
procedures and not the procedures of the 1970s.
The Duke report is a contentious one. It would appear to be a self-serving report issued in the
professional forum rather than a "scientific report." Of course, Altman's summary is not the same
thing as the written report, and that must be read before any judgment can be made of the quality
of the study.
In any case, the argument, as well as the surgery, continues.