Public Release: 

Antithrombotic therapy in patients with atrial fibrillaton before, after stroke

JAMA Network Open

Bottom Line: Oral anticoagulation therapy after stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation was associated with lower risk for recurrent blood vessel-blocking blood clots.

Why The Research Is Interesting: Patients with atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm) are at increased risk of ischemic stroke and oral anticoagulation therapy (OAC) can reduce that risk. Underse of OAC has been reported in both Europe and the United States.

Who and When: 30,626 Danish patients with atrial fibrillation admitted with ischemic stroke (when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel to the brain)

What (Study Measures): Patients who survived 100 days after discharge were divided into three groups according to poststroke antithrombotic therapy (OAC, antiplatelet therapy alone or no antithrombotic therapy) with data on hospital admission, prescription fillings and vital status coming from nationwide registries (exposures); thromboembolic events (blood vessel-blocking blood clots) and bleeding complications across the three groups (outcomes)

How (Study Design): This was an observational study. Researchers were not intervening for purposes of the study and they cannot control natural differences that could explain study findings.

Authors: Anna Gundlund, M.D., of Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, Denmark, and coauthors

Study Limitations: Registries didn't include factors such as alcohol consumption or fall tendency; possible misclassification of ischemic stroke; results may have been skewed by patient compliance with medications; all types of AF included in study, which could have influenced physician's choice of antithrombotic therapy

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For more details and to read the full study, please visit the For The Media website.

(doi:10.1001/jamnetworkopen.2018.0171)

Editor's Note: The article contains conflict of interest disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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About JAMA Network Open: JAMA Network Open is the new online-only open access general medical journal from the JAMA Network. Every Friday, the journal publishes peer-reviewed clinical research and commentary in more than 40 medical and health subject areas. Every article is free online from the day of publication.

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