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Review: antiplatelet treatment prevents occlusive vascular events in high risk patients

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 QUESTION: In patients at high risk for occlusive vascular events because of pre-existing disease, how effective is antiplatelet treatment?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching 5 databases and trial registers of the Cochrane Stroke and Peripheral Vascular Disease groups; handsearching journals, abstracts, and meeting proceedings; scanning reference lists of trials and review articles; and contacting pharmaceutical companies and experts.

Study selection

Randomised controlled trials were selected if they were available by September 1997 and compared an antiplatelet regimen with a control regimen or with another antiplatelet regimen in patients at high risk (> 3%/y) for vascular events because of a previous occlusive event or predisposing condition. Included trials had to have adequate allocation concealment and be unconfounded.

Data extraction

Trial coordinators were contacted to obtain details about randomisation, allocation concealment, duration of treatment, and follow up. The primary outcome was a serious vascular event (non-fatal myocardial infarction, non-fatal …

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  • Sources of funding: 7 funding sources.

  • For correspondence: Antithrombotic Trialists’ Secretariat, Clinical Trial Service Unit, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, UK. Fax +44 (0) 1865 558 817.