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ACC Press Release: New drug indication will provide major treatment advance for certain types of heart attack (Clopidogrel - CURE trial report)

Am Coll Cardiol PR (Mar) 21:Web, 2001

The following press release was issued by the American College of Cardiology concerning a paper presented at the March 2001 Annual Meeting:

(ORLANDO, Fla.)_The addition of clopidogrel, a drug that helps keep platelets from forming clots, to standard medications can significantly benefit patients with acute coronary syndromes_a limited form of heart attack that is one of the most common disorders seen in emergency rooms_according to a randomized study.

Patients with acute coronary syndromes, or ACS, are typically given aspirin, which is a weak antiplatelet drug, along with blood-thinning agents like heparin to break down clots within heart vessels that are causing symptoms. Some patients with ACS also undergo catheter interventions, such as balloon angioplasty or coronary stenting.

The "Clopidogrel in Unstable Angina to Prevent Recurrent Ischemic Events" (CURE) trial is the largest study of its kind in patients with ACS. Its finding of an added benefit from clopidogrel "is one of the most significant advances for patients with acute coronary syndromes since aspirin," according to the principal investigator, Dr. Salim Yusuf, Hamilton General Hospital and McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Yusuf is scheduled to present the results of CURE at 10:15 a.m. on Monday, March 19, at the American College of Cardiology 50th Annual Scientific Session in Orlando, Fla.

Patients in CURE who received clopidogrel along with standard ACS medications, with or without catheter procedures, showed significant reductions in serious clinical events over an average of nine months.

"The widespread use of clopidogrel in addition to aspirin in ACS could prevent about 50,000-100,000 heart attacks, strokes, or deaths every year in North America," said Dr. Yusuf.
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