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Aspirin still overprescribed for stroke prevention in AF
Date:1/28/2014

Sophia Antipolis, 28 January 2014: Aspirin is still overprescribed for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation (AF) despite the potential for dangerous side effects, according to research published today.

Professor Gregory Y.H. Lip, lead author of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) study, said: "The perception that aspirin is a safe and effective drug for preventing strokes in AF needs to be dispelled. If anything, you could say that giving aspirin to patients with AF is harmful because it is minimally or not effective at stroke prevention, yet the risk of major bleeding or intracranial haemorrhage is not significantly different to well-managed oral anticoagulation."

He added: "All the contemporary guidelines1 say that aspirin should not be used for the prevention of stroke in patients with AF. And yet our study shows that aspirin is still overprescribed in these patients."

Stroke prevention is central to the management of patients with AF. As the most common cardiac rhythm disorder, AF occurs in 1.5-2% of the general population in the developed world and people over the age of 40 have a 1 in 4 lifetime risk of developing AF.2 Patients with AF have a five-fold risk of stroke, and when they do have strokes they lead to more death and disability.3

Prevention of strokes in patients with AF is based on identification of risk factors.2 Patients with no stroke risk factors (ie. CHA2DS2-VASc score of 0 in males or 1 in females) are considered 'low risk' and do not need any antithrombotic drugs. Patients with one or more risk factors should be offered effective stroke prevention, and thus be given an oral anticoagulant (warfarin or one of the novel oral anticoagulants). The use of aspirin, either alone or in combination with an oral anticoagulant, is not recommended.

The study published online today in the American Journal of Medicine provides the most up-to-date picture of European cardiologists' prescrib
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Contact: ESC Press Office
press@escardio.org
33-049-294-7756
European Society of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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