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Curr Cardiol Rep. 2019 Jun 28;21(8):78. doi: 10.1007/s11886-019-1168-y.

Role of and Recent Evidence for Antiplatelet Therapy in Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Diabetes.

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School of Medicine, University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA.
Division of Cardiology, UC Irvine, 333 City Blvd West. Ste 400, Orange, CA, 92868, USA.
University of California Davis, Davis, CA, USA.
Division of Cardiology, UC Irvine, 333 City Blvd West. Ste 400, Orange, CA, 92868, USA.



When treating patients with diabetes mellitus (DM), the benefits of antiplatelet therapy in preventing cardiovascular disease must be weighed against an increased risk of bleeding. Recent trials have sought to determine both the optimal anti-platelet regimen for patients with DM, and who specifically requires medication among the DM population. This paper will review recent trials and evidence recommending the use of antiplatelet therapy in the prevention of cardiovascular disease in patients with diabetes.


Seven notable trials assessed the effectiveness of antiplatelet therapy in the DM population. The ASCEND trial concluded 100 mg aspirin/day reduced rates of serious vascular events (OR 0.88, p < 0.01) but also increased rates of major bleeding events (OR 1.29, p < 0.01). The DAPT study revealed a longer dual antiplatelet regimen (30 months vs. 18 months) after coronary stent placement was more effective in reducing rates of stent thrombosis (0.5% vs. 1.1%, p = 0.06) and rates of myocardial infarction (3.5% vs. 4.8%, p = 0.06). DECLARE DIABETES showed that adding cilostazol to dual antiplatelet therapy after a coronary stent procedure reduced rates of in-stent and in-segment late loss and increased rates of revascularization (p < 0.04). In PEGASUS-TIMI, daily ticagrelor demonstrated reduced rates of major adverse cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events (OR 0.84, p < 0.04). The DAVID trial compared daily picotamide with daily aspirin therapy, finding reduced mortality rates in the picotamide group (OR 0.55, p < 0.05). Lastly, ACUITY found bivalirudin monotherapy resulted in lower rates of major bleeding events when compared to a glycoprotein IIb/IIa inhibitor and heparin or bivalirudin combination regimen (p < 0.01). Dual antiplatelet therapy guidelines still typically revolve around aspirin, but an increasing number of studies have demonstrated other drugs that may have a role in preventing atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease while decreasing the risk of major bleeding. Overall, it is wise to weigh the cardiovascular risk of a DM patient before prescribing antiplatelet medication. More research is necessary to determine a universal drug or combination of drugs that is safe and effective for DM patients.


Antiplatelet review; Antiplatelet therapy; Clinical trials; Diabetes medication regimen; Diabetes mellitus; Diabetes review


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