Enoxaparin More Effective Post-MI Treatment
In a recent trial, the low-molecular-weightheparin enoxaparin significantlyreduced the risk of a second heartattack or death in patients who havehad an acute heart attack. The randomized,double-blind, double-dummy trialcompared the 2 anticoagulants in morethan 20,000 patients in 48 countries.Their primary treatment for heart attackwas to use unfractionated heparin toreduce blood clots; the newer therapyemployed enoxaparin for the durationof the patient's hospital stay. The studyresults showed that enoxaparinreduced the risk of death or recurrentnonfatal heart attack by 17%, comparedwith unfractionated heparin. By the endof 1 month, enoxaparin reduced thatrisk by 33%. The mortality rate was 7.5%for patients receiving unfractionatedheparin, compared with 6.9% forpatients receiving enoxaparin. The studyauthors noted, however, that patientstaking enoxaparin had a small but significantincrease in the risk of seriousbleeding episodes. The results werepublished in the April 6, 2006, edition ofthe New England Journal of Medicine.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medicalwriter based in Wakefield, RI.