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Adding Lovenox Didn't Reduce Blood Clot Death Risk in Study
Date:12/28/2011

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Exactly why this agent did not help lower risk of DVT-related death is unclear. These patients may have been too ill, and blood clots may not be as common a cause of death as previously believed. "There are so many other bad things that are happening that might ultimately be the cause of their death," he said. "Preventing fatal blood clots, although important, may be an infrequent cause of death."

In this study, "a patient's risk of dying from a blood clot was the same whether they had compression stockings alone or compression stockings plus Lovenox," said Dr. Robert Myerburg, a cardiology professor at the University of Miami School of Medicine. "These are patients with serious medical conditions, not post-surgical patients." The new findings do not apply to people who take blood thinners after surgery to stave off blood clots.

Myerburg said the findings will not change how he treats his severely ill patients and there are other reasons to prescribe blood thinners in this group. "They may be getting other benefits from the medication that don't translate into a lower mortality risk, including the prevention of blood clots and their other consequences."

More information

Visit the U.S. National Institutes of Health to learn about deep venous thrombembolism.

SOURCES: Ajay Kakkar, MB, BS, Ph.D., Thrombosis Research Institute, London and University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Robert Myerburg, M.D., cardiology professor, University of Miami School of Medicine; Dec. 29, 2011, New England Journal of Medicine


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