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Long-term anti-clotting therapy sweetens stenting outcomes in diabetic patients

(MAY 17, 2007 WASHINGTON, DC)A study showing that diabetic patients who are treated with long-term anti-clotting therapy are less likely to have a heart attack or die more than a year after stenting has been named among the best research papers presented at the 30th Annual Scientific Sessions of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI), May 912, 2007.

The study found that regardless of whether clogged coronary arteries were propped open with a drug-eluting or bare metal stent, diabetic patients were more likely to enjoy continued good health if treatment with the anti-clotting drug clopidogrel was continued for more than 6 months.

The new study suggests that physicians may need to tailor anti-clotting therapy to the special needs of patients with diabetes, a condition that not only causes high blood sugar levels but can damage and inflame arteries throughout the body.

"Diabetics are among the highest-risk groups undergoing coronary interventions," said Somjot S Brar, M.D., a cardiologist at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Los Angeles. "It is very common for these patients to have diffuse coronary artery disease."

In patients who do not have diabetes, cardiologists typically prescribe a combination of aspirin and clopidogrel for about 1 month after placement of a bare metal stent, to prevent blood clotting, or thrombosis, in the stent during healing. With drug-eluting stents, it is now common to extend the length of treatment with anti-clotting medication to a full year, based on evidence that these devices are more prone to very late thrombosis than was once believed. The ideal length of clopidogrel therapy remains unknown, however, particularly in patients with diabetes.

In the study presented during the SCAI Annual Scientific Sessions, Dr. Brar and his colleagues identified 671 diabetic patients who had a stenting procedure and remained healthy during the first 6 months of foll
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Contact: Kathy Boyd David
kbdavid@scai.org
717-422-1181
Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions
17-May-2007


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