Scripps Study Investigates Effectiveness of Heart Medication in Hispanics

Brilinta vs. Plavix – What is better for the Hispanic patient?

Physicians at Scripps Health are investigating whether the Hispanic population metabolizes certain mainstream heart medication differently than other ethnic populations.

Dr. Matthew Price, an interventional cardiologist at Scripps Clinic, and Dr. Jerrold Glassman, medical director of cardiology at Scripps Mercy Hospital, are lead investigators in the “Brilinta Ethnicity Study.” The study is looking at effectiveness of two antiplatelet medications – Brilinta versus Plavix — specifically in the Hispanic population.

“There is a lack of data regarding the effectiveness of these types of medications in Hispanics because frequently the most commonly prescribed medications have only been studied in Caucasians. The more we investigate, the more we are finding that genetic makeup plays a significant role in how medications are metabolized and that some medications may work better in some ethnicities rather than others.”

Both Brilinta and Plavix are prescription antiplatelet medications for people who have had a recent heart attack or severe chest pain that happened because their heart wasn’t getting enough oxygen. These medications are used with aspirin to stop platelets – small cells in the blood that help with normal blood clotting – from sticking together and forming a blood clot that could block blood flow to the heart and cause another, possibly fatal, heart attack.

Scripps is looking to recruit a handful of participants locally to contribute to the national goal of 40 participants. Candidates must be 18 years old or older, be of Hispanic decent, have a history of coronary heart disease, and be non-smokers.

“This is a small, but important study that could ultimately effect how we treat heart disease in different ethnic groups,” said Glassman.

If selected, participants will be required to undergo eight office visits at Scripps Clinic La Jolla over a 12-week period. Participants will be compensated $75 for each office visit and will also be reimbursed for travel expenses.

To enroll in the study or for more information, volunteers may call (858) 652-5439.

This study is an extension of Scripps’ leadership in heart care and research. Construction is currently under way on the $456 million Prebys Cardiovascular Institute (PCI), a center for innovation that will bring together top researchers, physicians and staff. PCI will incorporate leading-edge wireless technologies and individualized medicine for the best in patient care when it opens in 2015. Annually, more than 55,000 patients receive their cardiovascular care from Scripps, making it San Diego County’s largest heart care provider. Scripps is the region’s only cardiovascular program consistently recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best in the country.

Learn more about Scripps Health, a nonprofit integrated health system in San Diego, Calif.

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Lisa Ohmstede
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