|An estimated 58,000 to 88,000 strokes could be prevented annually in the United States if AF was properly treated with warfarin or NOACs.|
|Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia in clinical practice. AF increases the risk for stroke and accounts for 10% to 15% of all ischemic strokes.
While the burden of AF-related stroke is high, AF is a potentially treatable risk factor. Blood thinners such as adjusted-dose warfarin, or non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs), reduce the risk of ischemic stroke. Based on these data.
|Nonetheless, among patients with AF who had experienced an ischemic stroke, evaluation of their medication prior to stroke suggested that the vast majority (84%) were not taking guideline-recommended medication or not taking the medication at the therapeutic level. An estimated 58,000 to 88,000 strokes could be prevented annually in the United States if AF was properly treated with warfarin or NOACs. Even in the rare cases where therapeutic warfarin or NOACs failed to prevent a stroke, patients who were taking these medications were 35-44% less likely to experience a severe stroke, 21-25% less likely to die, and 40-50% more likely to function independently after stroke. The benefit of therapeutic warfarin or NOACs are consistent regardless of patients’ age, gender, medical history of coronary artery disease, or prior stroke. Patients with AF should discuss with their doctors for best strategies to manage AF and prevent stroke.|