The results of a new study show that a combination of Plavix and aspirin should not be used to prevent heart attacks in people without coronary artery disease. Plavix is a blood thinner made by Sanofi-Adventis SA. For people who have already suffered a heart attack, adding Plavix to aspirin cuts the risk of a second heart attack or death. The study was conducted to determine whether the combination would prevent heart attacks in people with risk factors such as high cholesterol, heavy smoking or diabetes. For patients with no previous heart attack or clogged arteries, taking Plavix and aspirin together almost doubled the risk of heart attack or stroke. The combination of Plavix and aspirin is still recommended for people who have recently had a heart attack or a procedure to unclog arteries. Aspirin alone has a history of preventing heart attacks in men, but does not significantly cut their risk of stroke. In women, aspirin only cuts the risk of heart attack in those 65 or older, but it does reduce the risk of strokes. Aspirin alone, may still be used to prevent heart attacks, but Plavix should not be used for preventative purposes. The results of the study will be published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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