Combination therapy works best for heart diseases

A major international study has found that the combination of two drugs — rivaroxaban and aspirin — is superior to aspirin alone in preventing further heart complications in people with vascular disease.

The study of 27,400 people with stable coronary or peripheral artery disease from 33 countries worldwide will be published today, and results show that the combination of 2.5 mg of rivaroxaban twice daily plus 100 mg of aspirin once daily was significantly better than only aspirin or only rivaroxaban in preventing heart attacks, strokes and death. Rivaroxaban, often known by the brand name Xarelto, is an anticoagulant, aspirin is an antiplatelet drug, and both are blood thinners.

The results will be presented today at the Congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) in Barcelona, Spain, and the overall results will be published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Full story at Science Daily

Primary prevention use of statins increases among the oldest old

The use of statins for primary prevention in patients without vascular disease older than 79 increased between 1999 and 2012, although there is little randomized evidence to guide the use of these cholesterol-lowering medications in this patient population, according to a research letter published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Michael E. Johansen, M.D., M.S., of Ohio State University, Columbus, and Lee A. Green, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Alberta, Canada, investigated the use of statins among this population by vascular disease because the very elderly have the highest rate of statin use in the United States, according to the study.

Full story of prevention use of statins at Science Daily