Antithrombotic Treatments for Stroke Prevention in Elderly Patients With Nonvalvular Atrial Fibrillation: Drugs and Doses
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Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common cardiac rhythm disturbance and is associated with a 5-fold increased risk of stroke. The most important risk factors for stroke in patients with AF are previous stroke and age ≥ 75 years. Canadian guidelines recommend anticoagulant therapy for patients with AF who are older than the age of 65 years, but the elderly often remain undertreated, primarily because of concerns regarding bleeding. Non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants appear to be safer, at least as efficacious, and more convenient than warfarin, and are a cost-effective alternative for elderly patients with AF. We review the evidence for the use of antithrombotic agents for stroke prevention in elderly patients (age ≥ 75 years) with nonvalvular AF.
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