Antiplatelet therapy in elderly patients with acute coronary syndrome: Between scientific evidence and future perspectives

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Francesco Barillà *
Concetta Torromeo
Riccardo Iorio
Luigina Porco
Vincenzo Paravati
Carlo Gaudio
(*) Corresponding Author:
Francesco Barillà | francesco.barilla@uniroma1.it

Abstract

Dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) is an important strategy for reducing cardiovascular events (CV) after an acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Elderly patients undergoing DAPT have a higher risk of bleeding than younger patients for a variety of reasons. Stratification of thrombotic/hemorrhagic risk is mandatory in order to decide on the type and duration of DAPT. The percentage of patients ≥ 75 years represented in clinical trials is not large, so very often elderly people are prescribed treatment protocols only experimented on younger patients with a lower hemorrhagic risk. However, even in patients aged ≥ 75 treated with invasive or conservative therapy, after an ACS, a DAPT with aspirin 80-100 mg/day plus a P2Y12 receptor inhibitor for 12 months is recommended. In elderly patients, DAPT should be considered a dynamic process that can be modified over time based on the patient's clinical conditions, or any other necessities (non-procrastinating surgical interventions, comorbid-like effects that can increase hemorrhagic risk). In patients with moderate-high or very high hemorrhagic risk, DAPT treatment should last less than 12 months. A prolongation of DAPT beyond 12 months in this setting is limited to a very low percentage of patients, after careful assessment of ischemic/hemorrhagic profile.


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