Dr. Tracy Y. Wang, lead investigator, said, "Asian patients...are more likely to bleed. This may partly be due to more overdosing in this group, but raises the concern that there may be ethnic differences in the patient's response to therapy."
Actually the results came through when Wang and his colleagues at the Duke Univesity Medical Centre, North Carolina set out to find whether lower doses of antithrombotic agents might be effective in Asian patients. There is some evidence to that effect.
But then what the researchers came out with some disturbing news for Asians. Writing in the American Journal of Cardiology, the researchers said they compared 1,071 Asian and 72,513 white patients who had a heart attack and were taking part in an ongoing study.
There were no differences between the groups in a variety of measures including in-hospital death rates and the occurrence of a repeat heart attack.
However, the rate of serious bleeding was markedly higher in Asians than in whites: 9.6 versus 6.6 percent. This continued to be true after accounting for various risk factors.
Given these findings, the researchers conclude that further studies are needed to examine ethnic differences in the response to antithrombotic therapy.