September 1, 2010

Black Patients Have Higher Rate of Clot in Stent

Posted in Heart Disease in the News, Heart disease tips, New Heart Studies tagged , , , , , , , , at 1:08 am by keepyourhearthealthy

Photograph of the Taxus drug-eluting stent, fr...

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A new study reported in the Circulation medical journal has determined black patients are more likely to develop clots in heart artery stents.

The researchers looked at over 1500 black patients who recently had a stent placed in the heart due to blockages.   When they compared the black patients to over 5,000 nonblack patients with recent stents, 3 times more black patients returned to the hospital with a clot in their stent (called “in-stent thrombosis”).

A stent clot is very dangerous and can cause heart attacks as well as significant damage to the heart.  At this point, researchers can only speculate why black patients develop this stent complication more frequently than other races.  The study claims they have ruled out the possibility of socioeconomic factors or lack of medications.  If that’s true, then the most likely cause is genetics.  A black person’s body may not respond as well to the drug Plavix which is prescribed to prevent stent clot.

More and more studies are leading up to a solution for Plavix resistance.  Possibly, once we have a better option to the standard Plavix 75mg therapy, this higher rate of stent clot in black people may decline.  In the meantime, black patients with stents should be aware of their increased risk and watch out for any suspicious symptoms.

1 Comment

  1. Bob said,

    So maybe physicians should consider the new PLATO data. It suggests that with the newer antiplatelet agents, prasugrel and ticagrelor, a genetic resistance to plavix should not be an issue. Maybe all black patients should be prescribed prasugrel post stenting.

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