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Aspirin resistance carries real risks

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1:52pm, February 20, 2007

From San Francisco, at the International Stroke Conference

The notion that some people are impervious to the blood-thinning effects of aspirin has been debated for more than 15 years. A meta-analysis of 17 studies now bolsters the evidence for "aspirin resistance" and indicates that the trait increases vulnerability to stroke and heart attack, heightens a person's risk of dying, and diminishes the effects of another commonly used blood thinner.

In the studies reviewed, out of 2,367 people with a history of heart problems or stroke, 618 had a blood-clotting ability that routinely overpowered aspirin's anticlotting effects.

About 33 percent of these aspirin-resistant people experienced a stroke, heart attack, or another vascular ailment during the course of the studies. In contrast, only 15 percent of the aspirin-sensitive people experienced any of these problems, says cardiac surgeon George Krasopoulos of the Royal Brompton Hospital in London.

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