June Davison, Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said:
“This Danish study found an increased risk of hospital admission for bleeding in heart attack patients who had been prescribed aspirin, clopidogrel and vitamin K antagonists and that these risks increased with the number of drugs used.
“The risks of bleeding from blood-thinning drugs are well known. However, this is only one side of the story; it is well established that these drugs help to prevent death and recurrent cardiac events in those people who have had a heart attack.
“Therefore before these medications are prescribed, the potential risks and benefits to people will have been weighed up carefully.”
Please note – Aspirin and clopidogrel, are routinely prescribed to treat heart attack patients in the UK but vitamin K antagonists are not.
For more information please call the BHF press office on 020 7554 0164 or 07764 290 381 (out of office hours) or email [email protected]
1Statement issued in response to article: Risk of bleeding in patients with acute myocardial infarction treated with different combinations of aspirin, clopidogrel, and vitamin K antagonists in Denmark: a retrospective analysis of nationwide registry data. Hansen et al, The Lancet 2009; 374: 1967–74 http://press.thelancet.com/riskbleeding.pdf