Women with atrial fibrillation face a higher risk of ischemic stroke than men
Women with atrial fibrillation who are not on anticoagulant therapy have a higher rate of ischemic stroke and face a higher absolute risk for stroke than do men with the condition, according to a joint study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, Massachusetts General Hospital, the Division of Research at Kaiser Permanente and Boston University School of Medicine.
Using a sample of 13,559 patients with atrial fibrillation, or rapid irregular contractions of the heart, researchers compared the rates of ischemic stroke between men and women and examined the efficacy and complications associated with a common blood thinner, Warfarin. Their findings are being reported in the September 20 issue of Circulation.
Warfarin is well known to be effective in reducing the risk of stroke in persons with atrial fibrillation; however prior studies have provided conflicting evidence about whether women with atrial fibrillation have a higher risk for stroke than men when not taking blood thinners. "The research from this study clearly shows that gender plays a role in ischemic stroke risk and occurrence," said lead author Margaret Fang, MD, MPH, assistant adjunct professor of medicine, and hospitalist at UCSF Medical Center.
The higher incidence of stroke in women not taking Warfarin therapy occurred among women in all stroke-risk-factor categories, including those with prior stroke, hypertension, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease and diabetes. Because of the significant differences in the rate of stroke between men and women, the study indicates that being a woman is an independent risk factor for stroke and should be considered when choosing treatment options for women with atrial fibrillation.
According to the researchers, atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, and a major risk factor for both ischemic stroke and peripheral embolism, an obstruction of the blood supply to an organ. Anticoagulation therapies, such as Warfarin, are well known to substantially reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation-related stroke and embolism, but also have been shown to increase the risk for hemorrhage. "Because of this increased hemorrhage risk, physicians are sometimes hesitant to prescribe the drug, and some studies have shown that women are less likely to receive warfarin therapy than men," Fang said. "However, we found that women in our study did not suffer bleeding complications related to Warfarin more often than men who were using the therapy."
Furthermore, data showed that women may actually benefit more from Warfarin because of their higher baseline risk for stroke. "Women with atrial fibrillation, particularly those with other risk factors for stroke, should be especially encouraged to take Warfarin," Fang added.
Vanessa deGier | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...