Aspirin vs Clopidogrel for Long-term Maintenance after Coronary Stenting in Patients with Diabetes: A Post Hoc Analysis of the HOST-EXAM Trial

Tae Min Rhee, Jang Whan Bae, Kyung Woo Park, Seung Woon Rha, Jeehoon Kang, Heesun Lee, Han Mo Yang, Soo Heon Kwak, In Ho Chae, Won Yong Shin, Dae Kyeong Kim, Ju Hyeon Oh, Myung Ho Jeong, Yong Hoon Kim, Nam Ho Lee, Seung Ho Hur, Junghan Yoon, Jung Kyu Han, Eun Seok Shin, Bon Kwon KooHyo Soo Kim

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Importance: Selecting the optimal antiplatelet agent in patients who have received percutaneous coronary intervention is especially important in those with diabetes due to the heightened risk of ischemic events in this population. Studies on the efficacy and safety of clopidogrel vs aspirin for long-term maintenance after percutaneous coronary intervention in patients with diabetes are lacking. Objective: To investigate cardiovascular outcomes with clopidogrel vs aspirin in patients with and without diabetes. Design, Setting, and Participants: This was a post hoc analysis of the HOST-EXAM randomized clinical trial, an investigator-initiated, prospective, randomized, open-label, multicenter trial performed at 37 centers in Korea. Patients who received dual antiplatelet therapy without clinical events for 6 to 18 months after percutaneous coronary intervention with drug-eluting stents were enrolled from March 2014 to May 2018 with follow-up at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. All 5438 patients in the original trial were included in this analysis, which was conducted from June to October 2021. Interventions and Exposures: Enrolled patients were randomized 1:1 to clopidogrel or aspirin monotherapy. Subgroup analyses were performed by the presence of diabetes. Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcome was primary composite end point of all-cause death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, stroke, readmission due to acute coronary syndrome, and major bleeding (Bleeding Academic Research Consortium type 3 or 5) at 24-month follow-up. Results: Of 5438 patients (mean [SD] age, 63.5 [10.7] years; 1384 [25.5%] female), 1860 (34.2%) had diabetes (925 in the clopidogrel arm and 935 in the aspirin arm), and 5338 (98.2%) completed follow-up. The rate of the primary composite end point was significantly lower in the clopidogrel group compared to the aspirin group in patients with diabetes (6.3% vs 9.2%; hazard ratio [HR], 0.69; 95% CI, 0.49-0.96; P =.03; absolute risk difference [ARD], 2.7%; number needed to treat [NNT], 37) and without diabetes (5.3% vs 7.0%; HR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.58-1.00; P =.046; ARD, 1.6%, NNT, 63; P for interaction =.65). The presence of diabetes was not associated with a difference in benefit observed with clopidogrel monotherapy over aspirin for the thrombotic composite end point (HR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.45-1.04 for patients with diabetes vs HR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.49-0.93 for those without; P for interaction =.99) and any bleeding with Bleeding Academic Research Consortium 2, 3, or 5 (HR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.39-1.09 for patients with diabetes vs HR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.48-1.13 for those without; P for interaction =.71). Conclusion and Relevance: In this study, clopidogrel monotherapy was associated with a lower rate of the primary composite end point compared to aspirin monotherapy as long-term maintenance therapy after dual antiplatelet therapy for coronary stenting in both patients with and without diabetes. Clopidogrel might thus be considered rather than aspirin in patients who have undergone coronary stenting and successfully completed dual antiplatelet therapy, regardless of diabetes status. Trial Registration: Identifier: NCT02044250.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-544
Number of pages10
JournalJAMA Cardiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jun 14
Externally publishedYes

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© 2023 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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