Breakthrough on heart treatment

SCIENTISTS from the University of Sheffield say they have discovered ground breaking clues as to how the pioneering heart drug ticagrelor might reduce the risk of dying following a heart attack, in comparison to previous standard treatments.

The new findings, published in Platelets, show that ticagrelor may reduce the risk of dying as a result of a lung infection after suffering
a heart attack compared to patients treated with the drug clopidogrel.

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The analysis is the latest to come from the PLATO study which originally included over 18,000 patients worldwide. In the initial PLATO study, the annual mortality rate for patients treated with clopidogrel was 5.9 per cent and this rate was significantly reduced to 4.5 per cent for patients treated with ticagrelor. The extent of this reduced risk was unexpected, as previous similar trials had not been so successful in reducing mortality risk.

Professor Robert Storey said: “We have now shown that there were fewer deaths due to overwhelming bacterial infection (sepsis) in patients treated with ticagrelor, with lung infection accounting for the source of this sepsis in many cases.”