Asians prone to bleeding with anti-clotting drugs

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NEW YORK, Sep 13 (Reuters) Asian patients who are treated with anti-clotting drugs, also called ''anti-thrombotics,'' after having a heart attack are more likely than their white counterparts to experience bleeding complications, new research suggests.

As lead investigator Dr Tracy Y Wang told Reuters Health, ''Asian patients...are more likely to bleed. This may partly be due to more overdosing in this group, but raises the concern that there may be ethnic differences in the patient's response to therapy.'' In the American Journal of Cardiology, Wang of Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina and colleagues note that there is some evidence that lower doses of antithrombotic agents may be effective in Asian patients.

To investigate effect this might have, the researchers compared 1,071 Asian and 72,513 white patients who had a heart attack and were taking part in an ongoing study.

There were no differences between the groups in a variety of measures including in-hospital death rates and the occurrence of a repeat heart attack.

However, the rate of serious bleeding was markedly higher in Asians than in whites: 9.6 versus 6.6 per cent. This continued to be true after accounting for various risk factors.

Given these findings, the researchers conclude that further studies are needed to examine ethnic differences in the response to antithrombotic therapy.

REUTERS KK VC0900

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