Blood Clot Risk From Stents Seen In African-Americans

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African-Americans may be at an increased risk for developing life-threatening blood clots after receiving drug-coated stents that are meant to keep their arteries open, new research shows.

Stents are tiny mesh cylinders that keep arteries from renarrowing after angioplasty, a procedure that widens clogged heart arteries. Stents are either bare metal or drug-coated.

While drug-coated stents were developed to prevent arteries from renarrowing, they may also increase the risk of blood clots forming at the site of implantation — often referred to as “stent thrombosis.” To reduce this risk, people with drug-coated stents must take anticlotting drugs for one year.

In the study, researchers culled information on 7,236 patients who had drug-coated stents implanted between mid-2003 and the end of 2008. Of these study participants, 22% were African-American.

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