September 9th 2008
We assessed the pattern of use and the effectiveness of antithrombotic therapy in a cohort of high-risk elderly patients hospitalized for atrial fibrillation, with data derived from prescription, hospitalization, and mortality databases from 3 linked registries. Results showed that antithrombotic therapy was underused, even in patients with no comorbid conditions. In addition, patients exposed to antithrombotic therapy had a significantly lower mortality rate. The collection of epidemiological data by record linkage represents a flexible and readily available tool for monitoring and improving routine clinical care.