Researchers have found that clot-busting drugs used to treat heart attacks
clearly help patients under age 75. But they do not help older patients, and
may even cause harm.
In about 8,000 Medicare patients aged 65 to 86 who had a heart attack,
those under 75 receiving clot busters had a 6.8% death rate 30 days after the
heart attack. Nearly 10% of these patients died when they did not get the
drugs. But in the older patient group, those getting clot busters were 40% more
likely to die within 30 days of treatment.
An observer notes physicians should take the results seriously and consider
options like angioplasty for patients who don't seem to benefit from