Evaluation of different cardiovascular disease treatment methods

Drugs used alongside heart conditions and transplants prolong life.

NHS data shows the life expectancy of heart transplant patients:

Life expectancypatient %
> 1 year80% to 90%
> 5 years70% to 75%
> 10 years50%

Evaluating the treatment methods

TreatmentAdvantageDisadvantage
Change in lifestyle eg change in diet, stopping smoking, exercisingReduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease; very little cost to patient or NHS; has other health benefitsSome people may find making changes difficult.
Drugs - statinsReduce the risk of heart attack - studies have shown a decrease in cholesterol in the blood; used to reduce high cholesterol levels that have genetic causes; may have beneficial effects on other conditionsNot 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 lifeFew donor hearts are available; recovery time is long; risk of rejection by the body's immune system
Stents Widen coronary arteries that have not responded to drug treatment; recovery time is short following insertion of the stentIn a minority of cases, further treatment is required