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ACC: Antithrombotic Benefit Found Lacking in Low-Risk A-Fib

Last Updated: March 17, 2017.

For some atrial fibrillation patients with low CHADS2 scores, antithrombotic therapy is associated with higher rates of stroke and significant bleeding, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology, held from March 17 to 19 in Washington, D.C.

FRIDAY, March 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For some atrial fibrillation patients with low CHADS2 scores, antithrombotic therapy is associated with higher rates of stroke and significant bleeding, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology, held from March 17 to 19 in Washington, D.C.

Researchers collected data on 56,723 patients with atrial fibrillation and a CHADS2 score of 0 to 2. Patients were divided into groups receiving aspirin, clopidogrel, or warfarin.

After five years of follow-up, 4.6 percent of aspirin-prescribed patients were diagnosed with stroke, versus 2.3 percent of those not taking aspirin; 17.6 percent of those using aspirin experienced significant bleeding, versus 11.5 percent not taking it. Rates for warfarin-prescribed patients were 5.7 percent versus 2.6 percent of those not on it, for stroke, and 22.3 percent versus 12.3 percent not on it, for significant bleeding.

"There is still no consensus regarding the initiation of these therapies in low-stroke risk patients, but findings from our study add important insight into this issue," Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute researcher Victoria Jacobs, Ph.D., N.P., said in a center news release. "We need more studies enrolling low-risk stroke patients, particularly in randomized, controlled trials to guide providers to optimal therapies for these patients."

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