META-ANALYSIS REINFORCES VALUE OF WARFARIN AND ANTIPLATELET AGENTS
Dr. Garrett is a clinical pharmacist practitioner at Cornerstone Health Care in High Point, NC.
A recently updated meta-analysis of patients with atrial fibrillationreinforced the value of warfarin and antiplateletagents for stroke prevention in this population. Twentyninetrials were studied, 13 of which were new since theauthors last conducted a similar analysis. More than28,000 participants were included from the various studies.Adjusted-dose warfarin reduced stroke by approximately60%, while antiplatelet agents reduced the risk by 20%.Adjusted-dose warfarin doubled the risk for major bleeding events, but theabsolute number of these events amounted to only 0.2% per year. The authors concludedthat antithrombotic therapy, when used carefully, provides importantdecreases in the risk of stroke for patients with atrial fibrillation.