Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Research shows Polynesians need different drugs to treat heart attacks

[Radio New Zealand International, 13 June 2011] - New health research in New Zealand has shown that current heart attack drugs are less effective for Maori and Pacific Island patients, compared with other ethnic groups.

The study was conducted by Victoria University of Wellington and Capital and Coast District Health Board.
Usually patients are treated for heart attacks with drugs such as aspirin and clopidogrel, to improve blood flow.

Researcher, Lisa Johnston, who’s a doctoral student at Victoria University, says their study revealed 57 percent of Maori and Pacific patients don’t respond well to this current drug treatment.
She says it is likely due to genetics and an increased diabetes trend.
“It was surprising, how big the difference was, that having at least half of Maori and Pacific Islanders not responding, compared to Europeans.”
Lisa Johnston says that their study also indicates a new drug, Prasugrel, seemed to work better for Maori and Pacific Island heart patients.

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