Researchers: Medication Better Than Angioplasty for Clogged Kidney Arteries

Researchers are offering advise to hundreds of thousands of Americans with clogged kidney arteries: consider medication over angioplasty. They say the pricey procedure is riskier and is no more effective.

Doctors at several British hospitals and universities compared patients with severe kidney artery blockages, with 400 receiving drugs and 335 undergoing the procedure. They found no difference in the results.

Clogged kidney arteries are caused by a buildup of fatty plaque, usually in patients 50 or older. It can lead to everything from high blood pressure to kidney failure. About one in six patients die from the condition each year.

The study appears in this week's New England Journal of Medicine.