Results from the African American Antiplatelet Stroke Prevention Study (AAASPS), a large multicenter trial of 1,809 African American stroke patients from over 60 sites in the United States, show that aspirin is as effective as ticlopidine for prevention of a second stroke in this population. The study, sponsored by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) is published in the June 11, 2003, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Originally scheduled to run until October 2003, the AAASPS was stopped in July 2002, after analyses suggested that there was less than a 1% chance that ticlopidine would be shown to be superior to aspirin if the study were carried to completion.
Looking at the results of previous trials of ticlopidine, a type of clot inhibitor, investigators thought that there was a strong possibility that this agent would be safer and more effective than aspirin in African Americans with a history of stroke. The NINDS funded the AAASPS in order to study this possibility.
"The study shows that aspirin is probably a better choice than ticlopidine for recurrent stroke prevention in African Americans. For those who can tolerate it, aspirin is readily available, inexpensive, and easy to administer. Ticlopidine, on the other hand, is more expensive, more difficult to use, and has the potential for serious side effects," said John R. Marler, M.D., Associate Director for Clinical Trials research at the NINDS.
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