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Irregular Heartbeat Poses Greater Stroke Risk for Women Than Men
Date:5/9/2012

s noted.

People with atrial fibrillation have a fivefold increase in the risk of stroke compared with the general population, which is why blood-thinners are prescribed for these patients, they explained.

Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that "a number of recent studies have suggested that women with atrial fibrillation are at even greater risk for stroke than men, and recent updates to stroke risk prediction tools in patients with atrial fibrillation have integrated this information."

The reasons for gender-based differences in stroke risk have not been entirely clear, but differences in use of blood-thinning treatment has been hypothesized.

"While determining the mechanisms accounting for this higher stroke risk in women requires further study, physicians should be aware of this especially high risk of stroke in women and optimize stroke prevention therapies," Fonarow said.

More information

For more on atrial fibrillation, visit the American Heart Association.

SOURCES: Louise Pilote, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., professor, medicine, James McGill Chair and director, division of general internal medicine, McGill University and McGill University Health Center, Montreal; Gregg Fonarow, M.D., professor, cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles; May 9, 2012, Journal of the American Medical Association


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