Light-weight Heparin has Heavy-weight Results in Heart Attack Treatment

DALLAS, TX — March 5, 2002 — Heart attack patients treated with the blood-thinner enoxaparin – a low molecular weight heparin – plus a clot dissolver were significantly less likely to die or have repeat heart attacks within 30 days compared to patients who received unfractionated heparin (UFH), according to a Rapid Track article in today's Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Patients in the study had what are known as ST-segment elevation myocardial infarctions, which are the most severe type of heart attack. "We have very encouraging data but the evidence is not yet sufficient to say that enoxaparin should be standard treatment for severe heart attacks," says Elliott Antman, M.D., associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the coronary care unit of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. "However, the data suggest we should pursue a larger clinical trial."

Enoxaparin previously has been shown to be superior to unfractionated heparin for patients with milder heart attacks (non-ST segment elevation). It can be given as a simple injection, rather than the continuous infusion required with UFH, and it does not require frequent testing of the patient's blood-clotting status. …

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