Saturday, 25 June 2016 08:39

Anticoagulation news items. Weeks commencing 13th June 2016 and 20th June 2016

Stroke and death in elderly patients with atrial fibrillation in Japan compared with the United Kingdom


Study (n=3129) found elderly (age ≥75 years) patients with atrial fibrillation in both Japan and the UK are at similarly high risk of stroke and death. Appropriate oral anticoagulation was still underused (<60%) in both populations.


Eyes on Evidence: Perioperative anticoagulation for people with atrial fibrillation

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

A commentary is provided on RCT in people with AF who stopped taking warfarin before elective surgery/invasive procedure, which found people who did not receive 'bridging' heparin had a lower risk of bleeding and no higher risk of thromboembolism than those who received it.


Comparative effectiveness and safety of non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants and warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation: propensity weighted nationwide cohort study

British Medical Journal

Danish cohort study (n=61,678) found all NOACs seem to be safe and effective alternatives to warfarin (WF) in a routine care setting. No significant difference was found for ischaemic stroke. Risks of death, any or major bleeding were lower for apixaban and dabigatran vs. WF.


Polypharmacy and effects of apixaban versus warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation: post hoc analysis of the ARISTOTLE trial

British Medical Journal

In trial (n=18,201),~75% patients had polypharmacy; this subgroup had increased comorbidity, more interacting drugs, increased mortality, and higher rates of thromboembolic/bleeding complications. Apixaban was more effective than warfarin regardless of number of concomitant drugs.


Global burden of stroke and risk factors in 188 countries, during 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013

The Lancet Neurology

Over 90% stroke burden (SB) is attributable to modifiable risk factors, and achieving control of behavioural/metabolic risk factors could avert over three-quarters of global SB. Air pollution has emerged as a significant contributor to SB especially in low/middle-income countries.


NIHR Signal: An anticoagulant, bivalirudin, may not be safer than the alternative, heparin, when unblocking arteries in the heart

National Institute for Health Research Signal

This is an expert commentary of a meta-analysis which found that bivalirudin as an alternative to heparin to prevent clotting during percutaneous coronary intervention may be ineffective in preventing recurrence of blockage or further heart attacks.


Prolonged dual antiplatelet therapy in stable coronary disease: comparative observational study of benefits and harms in unselected versus trial populations

British Medical Journal

The PEGASUS-TIMI-54 trial was one of first to inform management of high risk patients, but this analysis has shown that real world patients who survive ≥1 year after acute MI are at yet greater risk, amplifying potential of dual antiplatelet therapy to improve prognosis.


Risk of venous thromboembolism in cancer patients treated with epoetins or blood transfusions

British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

Study of 69,888 patients identified 3316 cases of venous thromboembolism (VTE). There was a higher risk of VTE with epoetins (OR 1.31 (95% CI 1.03-1.65)), transfusions (2.33 (2.03-2.66)), and epoetins and transfusions (2.24 (1.34-3.77)).


Direct oral anticoagulants for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation: meta-analysis by geographic region with a focus on European patients

British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

This review of 5 trials (n=72,673) found that direct oral anticoagulants were not superior to warfarin for prevention of stroke and systemic embolic events (RR=0.97 95% CI=0.85-1.11) in European patients (n=32,089), but were with patients from other regions (0.72, 0.63-0.83).



The above records have been identified by UKMi and feature in the NICE Medicines Awareness Service. Further details on this service can be found at: