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Stopping Aspirin After Stent Procedure Reduces Bleeding Risk by 50%: Study

Stopping Aspirin After Stent Procedure Reduces Bleeding Risk by 50%

United States: In a new revelation, experts said that people who have experienced a heart attack and then received a stent should stop using low-dose aspirin a month after receiving the procedure.

More about the study

According to Dr. Gregg Stone, the study lead author and the professor of medicine (cardiology) and population health science and policy at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, the strategy is “beneficial by reducing major and minor bleeding through one year by more than 50 percent,” as US News reported.

Stone further added, “Moreover, there was no increase in adverse ischemic [artery-blocking] events” when people stopped consuming aspirin early, “meaning continuing aspirin was causing harm without providing any benefit.”

The team of scientists published its findings in The Lancet and also simultaneously presented the report at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) annual meeting in Atlanta.

Danger of long-term usage of aspirin

Visual Representation of Aspirin. Credit | Getty images

By and large, for those who’ve sustained a heart attack or are at an exceptionally high risk of having an attack, the use of this low-dose daily aspirin is usually given in this sense so as to lower these people’s odds of blocked arteries.

However, long-term use of aspirin is also tied to another health danger: Heat bleeding. Therefore, the scientific community has debated the long-term usage of aspirin.

What did the results of the trial show?

During a new trial, the results were checked during a period of up to a year from more than 3,400 heart attack patients who were treated at 58 centers in four countries.

The patients had been inserted with a stent, a heart catheter-guided, non-surgical device that uncovers any obstacles in their arteries.

At the beginning of the trial, all patients received both ticagrelor (Brilinta) and low-dose aspirin. However, after a month, 1,700 of the patients whose aspirin was switched to a placebo pill, while the other half continued with the ticagrelor-aspirin therapy.

The results showed the researchers that the reduction in the use of aspirin led to a drop in bleeding risk by more than half (55 percent).

The researchers also reported 35 situations of bleeding among the group that quit aspirin in the early stage, compared to 78 cases in patients that remained on the blood thinner during the attendant period.

Moreover, the stoppage of aspirin didn’t heighten the chances for the development of clots or other cardiovascular “events” such as death, heart attack, stroke, bypass graft surgery, or the need for a new stent.

Such events happened in 61 of those patients who stopped using aspirin early, as compared to the other 63 cases in which the drug was kept, as per the researchers.

Stone said, “Discontinuing aspirin in patients with a recent or threatened heart attack who are stable one month after [stent placement] is safe and, by decreasing serious bleeding, improves outcomes,” as US News reported.

Moreover over, according to the new trial, Stone said, “It is my belief that it’s time to change the guidelines and standard clinical practice such that we no longer treat most [heart attack] patients with dual antiplatelet therapy” for greater than a month after implantation of the stent.

On the other hand, “treating these high-risk patients with a single potent platelet inhibitor such as ticagrelor will improve prognosis,” as Stone said.

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