HCPLive Network

Warfarin Initiation Negatively Linked to Stroke in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

 
FRIDAY, Jan. 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with atrial fibrillation are at higher risk of having a stroke in the first month after initiating treatment with the anti-clotting drug warfarin, according to a study published online Dec. 18 in European Heart Journal.

Noting that previous studies have observed a link between warfarin treatment and stroke among patients with atrial fibrillation, Laurent Azoulay, Ph.D., from McGill University in Montreal, and colleagues analyzed data on stroke incidence in 70,766 adults newly diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. Each case of incident stroke was randomly matched with 10 controls.

During 275,987 person-years of follow-up, the researchers found that 5,519 patients had a stroke. After adjusting for various factors, compared with no use of any antithrombotic therapy for at least one year, the risk of stroke was significantly higher within 30 days of initiating warfarin treatment (relative risk, 1.71). The risk of stroke was lower when warfarin treatment was initiated more than 30 days earlier (relative risks: 0.50 for 31 to 90 days earlier and 0.55 for >90 days earlier).

"Patients initiating warfarin may be at an increased risk of stroke during the first 30 days of treatment, supporting the biological plausibility of a transient hypercoagulable state at the start of the treatment, although additional studies are needed to confirm these findings," Azoulay and colleagues conclude.

The study was funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer. More than one author disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
Further Reading
Xi E. Zheng, MD, PhD, shares her views on young-onset colorectal cancer at 2014 ACG Annual Scientific Meeting in Philadelphia, PA.
In what could be New York City’s first case of Ebola, a doctor identified by the NY Post as Craig Spencer, 33, MD an emergency medicine physician at New York Hospital/Columbia-Presbyterian was rushed to a special Ebola unit at city-run Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan. Spencer returned 10 days ago from a stint as a volunteer with Doctors without Borders, caring for Ebola victims in Guinea, one of three West African nations with major outbreaks.
Patients diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy may be able to get a sense of how their condition has progressed without having to leave the comfort of their own home.
Monitoring devices among intensive care patients set off 2.5 million alarms in one month at a U.S. hospital, a new study of "alarm fatigue" reveals. The research was published online Oct. 22 in PLOS ONE.
While in-office visits may still be best, virtual analysis may be a valuable option in atopic dermatitis care, according to a new study published online Oct. 22 in JAMA Dermatology.
After weight-loss surgery, some patients may be at risk for developing severe headaches, a new study suggests. The report was published online Oct. 22 in Neurology.
The US health care system ranks last compared to other industrialized nations when it comes to affordability and patient access, according to a new survey published in the Oct. 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
More Reading
$related2$