Do You Really Need a Stent?

Written by Dr. Jack Wolfson
Posted August 7, 2015

The advancement of medical technology is a testament to the brilliance of thousands of researchers who continue to push the envelope.

Please understand that most of this technology is not necessary if people consume organic Paleo foods, avoid chemicals, exercise, limit stress, and sleep for 8-9 hours per night. But let’s move on and start with a little history lesson...

The 1st coronary angiogram was performed in 1960 by Dr. Mason Sones at the Cleveland Clinic. This test involves inserting a hollow tube (catheter) into a heart (coronary) artery to look for blockage.

In 1977, Dr. Andreas Gruentzig used a balloon-tipped catheter to open up a blocked vessel. This was the 1st angioplasty.

Inserting a piece of metal to “stent” open a blockage became popular in the 1990’s.


Fast forward to the year 2015. Hundreds of thousands of stents are inserted per year.

But are they necessary?

No! Yet doctors will not tell you this and the public is being misled and misinformed.

Here is why. In 2007, the COURAGE trial was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. The study involved 2287 patients with stable blockages. These were people with symptoms of chest pain or an abnormal stress test.

The patients were divided into two groups, those who had angioplasty and a stent (PCI), and those who did not. Both groups received pharmaceutical therapy and advised of healthy lifestyle choices. They were followed for almost 5 years.

Which group do you think did better?

The following chart represents the results. The PCI column represents the stent group.

Courage Trial

Let’s point out some of the above findings.

The stent group had more heart attacks and more strokes. Not shown was that the stent group had less chest pain. So the moral of the story here is that stents decrease chest pain but not heart attacks, stroke, or dying.

A review from 2005 of several studies confirmed the findings of COURAGE:

  • 5 studies found that stents increase short term heart attack risk.
  • 6 studies found that stents do not prevent long term heart attack risk.
  • 3 studies found that stents do not improve long term survival.

If you are in the midst of a heart attack, go for an angioplasty and stent. Otherwise, think twice about getting a piece of metal inserted into your body.

You have time to ask questions. Get a second opinion. Call a natural cardiologist.

Dr. Jack Wolfson

Senior Editor, Clear Health Now

Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC is a board-certified cardiologist who believes bad nutrition and toxins create heart health problems. He prevents and treats cardiovascular disease with good nutrition, not medicines and treats the whole person, not just the symptoms.

He is the author of The Paleo Cardiologist: The Natural Way to Heart Health

You can find out more about Dr. Wolfson at Wolfson Integrative Cardiology.


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