Current status of anticoagulation therapy for elderly atrial fibrillation patients in Japan: from Hokuriku atrial fibrillation trial

Hiroshi Furusho, Masayuki Takamura, Shigeo Takata, Satoru Sakagami, Motoaki Hirazawa, Takeshi Kato, Hisayoshi Murai, Masaki Okajima, Shuichi Kaneko
Circulation Journal: Official Journal of the Japanese Circulation Society 2008, 72 (12): 2058-61

BACKGROUND: The number of the elderly patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) is increasing, but the current status of anticoagulation therapy for elderly patients with AF in Japan is not clear.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Among the patients registered in the "Hokuriku Atrial Fibrillation Trial (HAT) 1", 365 AF patients aged > or =65 years were enrolled in this study. Warfarin was used for significantly less patients in the oldest group aged > or =85 years (36%) than in younger populations, but the percentage of antiplatelet use in this oldest population was largest (40%). The elderly group (> or =85 years) was compared with a younger group aged between 75 and 84 years. Warfarin was given to 61% of the younger group compared with 36% in the elderly group. In the younger group, the more thromboembolic risks they had according to CHADS2 score, the more warfarin was used, whereas there was no clear trend in the usage of warfarin in the elderly group.

CONCLUSIONS: The number of elderly Japanese patients with AF taking warfarin is currently low, but because the population of elderly AF patients will increase in the future, there is a need for safe and suitable anticoagulation therapy for elderly patients.

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