Study: Millions of people with heart stents may need anti-clotting drugs longer than one year

Millions of people with stents that prop open clogged heart arteries may need anti-clotting drugs much longer than the one year doctors recommend now.

A study finds that taking the medicines for another 18 months lowers the risk of heart attacks, clots and other problems.

The study concerns care after an artery-opening procedure called angioplasty. People who continued to take aspirin plus a second type of blood thinner were less likely to have another heart problem than those who took aspirin alone.

Researchers say patients need to discuss their own situation with their doctors, because the drugs can carry a risk of bleeding.

Results were discussed Sunday at an American Heart Association conference in Chicago.