Women With A-Fib Less Likely to Receive Oral Anticoagulants

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Women With A-Fib Less Likely to Receive Oral Anticoagulants
Women With A-Fib Less Likely to Receive Oral Anticoagulants

THURSDAY, June 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with atrial fibrillation, women are less likely than men to receive oral anticoagulant therapy, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

For the study, Mark Eckman, M.D., a professor of clinical medicine at the University of Cincinnati, and colleagues reviewed data for 1,585 patients with atrial fibrillation. Among these patients, 55 percent of women were taking oral anticoagulants, compared with 61 percent of men.

"The irony is that women have a higher risk of atrial fibrillation-related stroke, controlling for other risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, congestive heart failure, yet women are being undertreated," Eckman said in a university news release. "There are some take-home messages. Doctors need to realize we have mental biases that women are healthier and at lower risk of stroke."

"It's the same story for coronary artery disease and risk of heart attacks," Eckman added. "We think women are at lower risk and we ignore warning signs. Thus, when we are making decisions for blood-thinning therapy for patients with atrial fibrillation, we need to remember that women are at higher risk and we need to make sure we treat them aggressively enough to prevent stroke."

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