The Role of Antiplatelets in Hypertension and Diabetes Mellitus

Authors

  • R. A. Ajjan MRCP, MMedSci, PhD,

    1. From the Division of Cardiovascular and Diabetes Research, Multidisciplinary Cardiovascular Research Centre, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
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  • Peter J. Grant FRCP, MD

    1. From the Division of Cardiovascular and Diabetes Research, Multidisciplinary Cardiovascular Research Centre, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
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Peter J. Grant, FRCP, MD, Division of Cardiovascular and Diabetes Research, The LIGHT Laboratories, Clarendon Way, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
E-mail: P.J.Grant@leeds.ac.uk

Abstract

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the main cause of mortality and morbidity in patients with diabetes. Prevention of CVD in diabetes involves a multifactorial approach that aims to treat the cluster of risk factors including hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, obesity, hypertension, and hypercoagulation associated with this condition. Antiplatelets reduce the prothrombotic environment in diabetes, but complications of this therapeutic approach include a general risk of bleeding, specifically intracranial hemorrhage, the risk of which increases in the presence of hypertension. Current guidelines recommend the use of antiplatelet agents after tight control of blood pressure, which, in clinical practice, is not always possible. In this review, the evidence for antiplatelet use in diabetes with particular emphasis on patients with associated hypertension is examined. Safe levels of blood pressure with antiplatelet therapy, various studies, and general recommendations for diabetes patients, in light of current evidence, are explored. J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2011;13:305–313. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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