The question the blood thinner clopidogrel (Plavix) has been shown to be slightly more effective than the more commonly prescribed aspirin in preventing a second heart attack or stroke. For survivors of second such events - which occur about 300,000 times a year in the United States, according to the American Heart Association - does clopidogrel have any advantage over aspirin, which causes dangerous bleeding in some people?
This study randomly assigned 4,496 predominantly white men who had a second heart attack or stroke to receive clopidogrel or aspirin. After three years, 20.4 percent of the people in the clopidogrel group had died from a third heart attack or stroke, compared with 23.6 percent of those taking aspirin. Side effects: rashes and diarrhea. Caveats The results may not apply to women or other racial groups. And results might have been different if the participants' use of other medications, had been considered.
Bottom line People who have had two heart attacks or strokes may wish to consult their physician about using clopidogrel.
Find this study Jan. 22 issue, reports &to=http://www.courierpress.com' target=_blank>CourierPress.com
Researchers report they have successfully tested the device to pull blood clots from the brains of stroke victims, that restored normal blood flow. The report was presented at the 29th International Stroke Conference at San Diego Thursday. It said doctors used the device on 114 stroke patients nationwide, and that it successfully removed clots in 61 of them when applied within eight hours after the stroke began. Researchers say more than half of the patients with clots removed went on their lives with little or no disabilities. They say they plan to perform more test for the device, and a U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel plans to evaluate it at the end of this month. In most cases strokes occur when a blood clot lodges in a brain vessel, cutting off the blood flow and killing brain tissue. Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 170,000 people a year. Stroke survivors are often left with severe disabilities, informs &to=http://www.voanews.co' target=_blank>Voanews