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