Background Several clinical trials reported that clopidogrel was superior to aspirin in secondary stroke prevention by reducing the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE). We aimed to compare the efficacy of clopidogrel with aspirin in reducing one-year risk of MACE based on real-world evidence from Taiwan Health Insurance Database. Methods We identified ischemic stroke patients between 2000 and 2012 who took aspirin or clopidogrel within 7 days of stroke onset for 1-year follow-up. The primary outcome was one-year MACE including recurrent stroke, acute myocardial infarction, and death. Propensity score matching and conditional Cox proportional hazards regression were conducted to control the confounding factors. Results From 9,089 ischemic stroke patients, we found 654 patients on aspirin and 465 patients on clopidogrel who met the selective inclusion criteria. After propensity score matching, 379 patients were selected from each group. The clopidogrel group had a 1.78-fold MACE risk compared with the aspirin group at one-year follow-up (95% CI = 1.41–2.26, p<0.01). The MACE-free rate in the aspirin group was 15.74% higher than in the clopidogrel group at one-year follow-up. Sub-analysis of the three components of MACE showed that clopidogrel conferred higher risk of recurrent stroke (OR 1.43, 95% CI = 1.06–1.92, p 0.02) and acute myocardial infarction (OR 3.72, 95% CI = 1.04–13.3, p 0.04), but no different risk of death than that of aspirin. Conclusions Among first-ever ischemic stroke patients, secondary stroke prevention using clopidogrel was associated with higher rates of MACE than aspirin. Aspirin might have better efficacy in secondary stroke prevention and was associated with lower risk of MACE. The real-world evidence raises the need to re-assess the current therapeutic options in secondary stroke prevention applying aspirin vs. clopidogrel.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)