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Patients Receiving Coated Stents Are at Lower Risk of Death and Heart Attack

by Lynn Shapiro, Writer | April 01, 2009

According to AHRQ's Art Sedrakyan, M.D., Ph.D., a co-author of the study, the better outcomes found for patients with drug-eluting stents may be at least partially explained because those patients are required to take blood-thinning drugs, such as clopidogrel, for a long time after their procedure. Patients who receive bare metal stents are usually prescribed blood-thinner medications for a shorter period of time and may take them less often. In addition, patients with drug-eluting stents may visit their doctors more often after hospital discharge and may receive prescriptions for drugs and therapies to lower their cholesterol levels and manage other heart conditions more often than patients who received bare metal stents.

The researchers based their study on data from the American College of Cardiology's National Cardiovascular Data Registry on patients who underwent angioplasty with drug-eluting or bare metal stent implantation at 650 hospitals, together with Medicare national claims data to capture post-hospital discharge information. The authors call for longer follow-up studies to further support the study's results and to confirm the possible effects of post-implantation treatment with blood-thinning drugs such as clopidogrel.

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