A recently updated meta-analysis of patients with atrial fibrillation reinforced the value of warfarin and antiplatelet agents for stroke prevention in this population. Twentynine trials were studied, 13 of which were new since the authors last conducted a similar analysis. More than 28,000 participants were included from the various studies. Adjusted-dose warfarin reduced stroke by approximately 60%, while antiplatelet agents reduced the risk by 20%. Adjusted-dose warfarin doubled the risk for major bleeding events, but the absolute number of these events amounted to only 0.2% per year. The authors concluded that antithrombotic therapy, when used carefully, provides important decreases in the risk of stroke for patients with atrial fibrillation.
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