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Atherothrombosis Patients at High Risk for CV Events

A large, international study finds that patients with arterial disease have relatively high risk of experiencing a cardiovascular// event (such as heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular death) within one year. This study is published in the March 21 issue of JAMA.

Atherothrombosis (arterial disease, such as coronary artery disease [CAD], cerebrovascular disease [CVD], and peripheral arterial disease [PAD]; narrowing of the arteries that supply the legs and feet]) is associated with the main causes of death on a worldwide scale, according to background information in the article.

"Recent U.S. data have confirmed that, despite a decrease in age-standardized national death rates, the absolute number of deaths from these conditions continues to increase, and prevalence is sharply increasing in other parts of the world. Thus, atherothrombotic diseases are, and are projected still to be, the leading cause of death worldwide by 2020." Few studies have documented the current cardiovascular (CV) event rates in outpatients with atherothrombosis.

Ph. Gabriel Steg, M.D., of the H?pital Bichat-Claude Bernard, Paris, and colleagues examined the characteristics and CV event rates of patients for whom 1-year follow-up data were available from the Reduction of Atherothrombosis for Continued Health (REACH) Registry, an international group of 68,236 patients with either established atherosclerotic arterial disease (such as CAD, PAD, CVD; n = 55,814) or at least three risk factors for atherothrombosis (n = 12,422). The participants were enrolled from 5,587 physician practices in 44 countries in 2003-2004.

As of July 2006, 1-year outcomes were available for 95 percent (n = 64,977) of participants. The researchers found that in the overall stable population with established arterial disease, approximately 1 in 7 patients had a cardiovascular event (CV death, heart attack, and stroke) or was hospitalized for a CV event or revascularization procedure
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