"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Two anticoagulants for individuals with heart disease and diabetes?

The research we're .

People with blocked arteries in the center (coronary artery disease) or legs (peripheral artery disease) are at increased risk of heart attack or stroke, especially if in addition they have diabetes. For such people, a mix of anticoagulants reduces the chance of those dangerous outcomes, in response to a study published online within the journal March 28. circulation.

The study included only 18,300 individuals with coronary or peripheral artery disease. About 38 percent also had diabetes. All of them took low-dose aspirin day by day, but half took 2.5 mg of rivaroxaban (Xarelto) twice day by day, while the others took a placebo. Like aspirin, rivaroxaban helps discourage blood clotting, but through a unique mechanism.

The combination of the 2 drugs reduced the chance of heart attack, stroke, or death from heart problems compared with aspirin alone. In individuals with diabetes, the therapy reduced the death rate thrice as much as in people without diabetes during a three-year study. However, individuals with a history of bleeding from the stomach or elsewhere usually are not good candidates for treatment.

Photo: Shidlowski/Getty Images