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Clopidogrel Can Be Effective in Reducing Cardiac Risk

Drug shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in both men and women

THURSDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The antiplatelet drug clopidogrel is likely effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular events in both men and women, according to a study in the Nov. 17 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Jeffrey S. Berger, M.D., of the New York University School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues performed a meta-analysis of five randomized clinical trials involving 79,613 patients (30 percent women) that examined the safety and efficacy of clopidogrel at reducing cardiovascular events.

The researchers found that clopidogrel significantly reduced the risk of cardiovascular events by 14 percent (odds ratio, 0.86), with similar efficacy in men and women. Clopidogrel significantly reduced the risk of myocardial infarction in both women and men (odds ratios, 0.81 and 0.83, respectively). In men, clopidogrel also reduced the risk of stroke (odds ratio, 0.83) and total death (odds ratio, 0.91), while in women the effects were not statistically significant. In addition, clopidogrel increased the risk of major bleeding in both men and women (odds ratios, 1.22 and 1.43, respectively).

"The cumulative evidence continues to show that women with coronary artery disease differ from men in many important ways, including the response to antiplatelet therapy," the author of an accompanying editorial writes. "The good news is that clopidogrel is an exception."

Several authors of the article and editorial reported financial and consulting relationships with pharmaceutical companies.

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