Keeping Third Heart Attack, Stroke at Bay

Anti-clotting drug more effective than aspirin in preventing recurrence

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THURSDAY, Jan. 22, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- The anti-clotting drug clopidogrel appears more effective than aspirin in preventing another heart attack or stroke in people who have survived more than one heart attack or stroke caused by a blood clot.

The finding appears in the Jan. 22 online issue of Stroke.

The study of 4,496 high-risk patients found those who took clopidogrel had a 14.9 percent lower relative risk. After one- and three-year follow-ups, the people taking clopidogrel were less likely than those taking aspirin to have been hospitalized or to have died from a cardiovascular event (CVE).

A year after their second CVE, 16.1 percent of the people taking clopidogrel and 18.5 percent of those taking aspirin had suffered another stroke or heart attack or had been hospitalized again for CVE. After three years, 32.7 percent of the patients taking clopidogrel and 36.6 percent of those taking aspirin had another CVE.

The study also found that, at three years, 20.4 percent of the people taking clopidogrel and 23.8 percent of those taking aspirin had died from a CVE.

"Basically, if a patient has a history of multiple cardiovascular events, they are better off being treated with clopidogrel rather than aspirin," study co-author Dr. Deepak L. Bhatt, director of the Interventional Cardiology Fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, says in a prepared statement.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about heart attack and stroke.

SOURCE: American Stroke Association, news release, Jan. 22, 2004

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