I’ve recently been diagnosed with PAF and was initially prescribed a beta-blocker (Solatol) and the anticoagulant Dabigatran. After taking only three tablets of the latter I had a subconjunctival haemorrhage (the white part of the eye becomes incredibly bloodshot - it looks horrible but cleared up in a couple of weeks and is not dangerous according to my GP). However, this indicated a risk of bleeding which the GP said might happen again. I elected not to take an anticoagulant because of the risk. The GP said this was reasonable as my Chads2Vasc score is 1 which means that I am in the equivocal area for a stroke. The risk, he estimated, was about 1.3% per annum. Other medical staff expresses the view that I should be on an anticoagulant however. I would welcome any comments on this, and have a few questions. First, what is the risk of bleeding badly from taking an anticoagulant per annum? Secondly, is a good diet, regular exercise likely to reduce the risk significantly? My GP didn’t give a direct answer when I asked him this and basically just said “we all know people who eat the perfect diet and do exercise, yet they still get strokes”.