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Researchers in heart-attack warning

PEOPLE who suffer a heart attack nearly double the risk of another if they take blood thinner Plavix with a heartburn drug such as Prilosec, researchers said yesterday.

Plavix and aspirin are often used to thin a patient's blood after a heart attack.

Doctors also may prescribe a proton pump inhibitor, or PPI, such as Prilosec to cut the risk of intestinal bleeding.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association tracked 8,205 patients in the United States given Plavix and aspirin.

Two-thirds also took a PPI, primarily Prilosec, and had almost double the risk of another heart attack compared to those not taking a PPI, Dr Michael Ho, of the Denver VA Medical Center, said.

Other doctors urged caution. "We have to be really careful with this study," said Dr Kirk Garratt of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. "If we stop prescribing PPIs, we will see more bleeding complications."


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