The drugs in question, known as glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa inhibitors, prevent blood clots from forming. If clots form, vessels in the heart may be blocked and heart attack or death may result. Patients who can benefit from the drugs will typically arrive at emergency rooms with chest pain (angina) and have non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) or unstable angina. It is estimated that about 715,000 Americans experience NSTEMI or unstable angina each year.
"Despite the fact that these drugs have been proven effective in preventing death and heart attacks, they are being markedly underutilized," said Duke cardiologist Eric Peterson, M.D., who presented the results of the study today (March 18) at the 51st annual scientific sessions of the ACC. ?This suggests that there is significant room for improvement in our treatment of these patients."
To conduct the study, Peterson consulted the National Registry of Myocardial Infraction (NRMI), a databank of patients who have suffered a heart attack. The fourth generation of this databank, NRMI 4, has been collecting data since July 2000. Of the 186,727 cases registered during that time, 60,770 were eligible for this new class of drugs.
Peterson's research also confirmed and expanded what is known about the treatment benefits of GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor agents. Specifically, the NRMI database represents ?real world"patients who were older and sicker than those enrolled in the GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor trials.
"In this higher risk group of patients there was a 12 percent reduction in mortality seen in patients receiving t
Contact: Richard Merritt