Sunday, September 09, 2007

Dutch stroke study urges greater anticoagulant use

From Reuters:
Dutch doctors called on Sunday for greater use of oral anticoagulants to prevent strokes in people with a common heart arrhythmia.

Atrial fibrillation (AF), a heart flutter, is dangerous because blood pools in the heart, forming clots that can lead to deadly strokes.

Current guidelines recommend that AF patients be treated with drugs to stop this happening, but many doctors are wary of using the anticoagulant pills because they are difficult to monitor and can lead to uncontrolled bleeding.

That physician caution may be costing lives, Ron Pisters and colleagues at the University Hospital Maastricht told the annual European Society of Cardiology congress. ...more

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