AF Association

Older Stroke Patients May Not Get Needed Anticoagulant Therapy

Swedish study on Medscape.


"The researchers studied roughly 12,000 first-time stroke patients who also had atrial fibrillation and found just 36% of them were prescribed anticoagulant drugs when they left the hospital."

"But only 11% of patients in their 90s and older and 29% of people in their 80s received the drugs, compared with 61% of adults under age 70, the study found.

Roughly 30% of the poorest patients and people without a high school education got the medicine, compared with 48% of college-educated patients and 46% of the richest stroke survivors."

"The fear of bleeding (with anticoagulants) is high among physicians, especially for the elderly, even though the data clearly indicate that in elderly patients the net clinical benefit of anticoagulants is particularly high due to their elevated stroke risk," said Dr. Daniela Poli, a researcher at the Thrombosis Centre, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Careggi, in Florence, Italy.

1 Reply

This study seems to pay no attention to which country the patient is in: the medical services in different countries may respond differently to similar medical problems.

Also they point out that these statistics may be because older patients are more likely to have medical conditions which are incompatible with anticoagulation ie the danger of bleeding may be considered higher than the risk of stroke.


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