Women with atrial fibrillation face higher stroke risk

09/20/2005 - News

Women with atrial fibrillation face higher stroke risk

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD

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Women with atrial fibrillation face higher stroke risk

Reported by Susan Aldridge, PhD, medical journalist

Women who are not on anticoagulant therapy for atrial fibrillation face a higher risk of stroke than do men.
Stroke is a well known complication of atrial fibrillation (AF) - a type of abnormal heart rhythm. Anticoagulants like warfarin can be given to alleviate this risk but these drugs are not without side effects.

Researchers at the University of California San Francisco looked at a group of over 13,000 patients with AF. They found that all of the women not on warfarin had a higher risk of stroke than did men. This applied whether or not they had other conditions like prior stroke, high blood pressure or diabetes. It looks as if being a woman is a risk factor for having a stroke with AF - although it is not clear why this should be. It is something doctors need to take into account when prescribing treatment for AF.

Source
Circulation 20th September 2005

Created on: 09/20/2005
Reviewed on: 09/20/2005

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