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Thursday, Apr 25, 2024

CUHK study reveals crucial control following coronary surgery

CUHK study reveals crucial control following coronary surgery

Coronary artery disease patients who have undergone bypass graft surgery should continue to control lipid levels to minimize risks of further heart conditions, Chinese University researchers have found.
The university conducted Hong Kong's first long-term follow-up study on cholesterol levels of 309 patients who received coronary artery bypass graft operations at the Prince of Wales Hospital in 2007 and 2008 to evaluate their condition for over 12 years.

Results showed higher levels of "bad" cholesterol types - LDL-C and non-HDL-C - increasing the risks of cardiac death.

Every millimole of LDL-C leads to 2.3 percent increased risk of cardiac death, and the increment adds on each year.

Among those who have a controlled "bad" cholesterol level - with an average reading of less than 3.2 millimole of non-HDL-C per unit - 97 percent of them had not suffered cardiac death 10 years after their surgeries compared to 87 percent of those above the threshold.

Resident doctor from Prince of Wales Hospitals' cardiothoracic surgery division Kevin Lim said researchers found 37.2 percent of patients have failed to suppress "bad" cholesterol at desirable levels: 2.3 millimole per unit for LDL-C and 3.2 millimole per unit for non-HDL-C.

"The use of high-intensity statins therapy is recommended for secondary prevention after surgical revascularization," he said. "We hope our findings can raise patients' awareness on the importance of consistent lipid target control."

Meanwhile, CUHK medical dean Francis Chan Ka-leung said final-year medical students from the university and the University of Hong Kong should be allowed to practice in public hospitals to equip them with clinical skills.

Final-year medical students are capable of sorting patients into priority categories and performing preliminary diagnosis, Chan said.

"There are around 500 medical graduates from the two universities every year, and the number will further increase to 600 in the future," he explained, adding that "each student can take up one-fifth of the duties of a full-time doctor, which means the 500 students per year can complete the work of 100 doctors."

Chan further explained that the government must consider ways to retain medics in the public system instead of forcing them to a fixed term.

He said that many medical workers have switched to the private sector due to the lack of flexibility at public hospitals.

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