CABG versus PCI - which is best for diabetes patients?

Long-term follow-up shows CABG can extend the life of younger patients for a number of years, say researchers

Long-term follow-up of patients with diabetes and multivessel coronary disease shows coronary artery bypass grafting is more effective at extending life than percutaneous coronary intervention with drug-eluting stents.

The findings come from the FREEDOM trial of 1900 patients — of which 83% had three-vessel disease —  who were randomised to be managed with drug-eluting stents with sirolimus or paclitaxel or with coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). 

There were 204 deaths during the original trial and 110 in the current follow-up study, which included a total of 943 patients, the researchers report. 

At eight years, the all-cause mortality rate was 24.3% in the percutaneous coronary intervention with drug-eluting stents (PCI-DES) group and 18.3% in the CABG group — a significant difference (hazard ratio, 1.36).

When events were