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Ajit Jain in Toronto
A research team comprising leading south Asian scientist, Dr Salim Yusuf, and Assistant Professor of Medicine, Dr Shamir Mehta, has concluded that at least 2000 lives in Canada alone could be saved from unstable angina and mild heart attacks with ASA (Aspirin) and clopidogrel, a blood thinner.
The international study published on Friday said that ASA (Aspirin) and clopidogrel therapy would have a one-in-five success rate
"I think it's an important step in the right direction," said Dr Yusuf.
He called the treatment a 'moderate' clinical step forward.
Yusuf is widely quoted in Canadian papers as arguing that the combined therapy of ASA and clopidogrel could prevent 10,000 strokes, heart attacks and deaths a year in Canada.
The study was conducted in 482 sites in 28 countries on 12,562 patients of whom 1,760 were Canadians, who reported to hospital with acute coronary syndrome called unstable angina or a mild heart attack.
Clopidogrel, marketed in North America as Plavix, is a blood thinner.
Like the common pain reliever ASA (Aspirin), it prevents platelets from clumping together in the blood, but it works by a different mechanism.
Alone, they are comparable, but taken together, they appear much more potent, it was stated.
"When you have unstable angina or a mild heart attack, you have a clot in the coronary artery, and that clot usually is not complete, it is only partial," Dr Yusuf was quoted as saying in Canadian papers.
"What clopidogrel-and-aspirin does is prevent that clot from growing and completely blocking off the artery," he added.
"What this shows is that the combination therapy is better than the single one, and much broader groups of patients than the ones before would benefit," he said.
The study was financed by Sanofi-Synthelabo and Bristol-Myers Squibb, the makers of the drug.
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