May 8th, 2012

In AF, Women Have a Higher Stroke Risk Than Men

When compared to elderly men with atrial fibrillation, elderly women with AF have a significantly elevated risk for stroke. This increased risk occurs regardless of warfarin use, according to a new study published in JAMA.

Meytal Avgil Tsadok and colleagues reviewed data from Quebec, Canada on more than 80,000 AF patients at least 65 years of age. Much of the increased risk occurred in women over the age of 75.

Overall crude stroke incidence:

  • Women versus men: 2.02 versus 1.61 per 100 person-years, p<0.001

The risk for stroke among women remained elevated after adjustment for baseline risk factors, individual components of the CHADS2 score, and warfarin treatment:

  • Adjusted hazard ratio: 1.14, CI 1.07-1.22, p<0.001

The authors wrote that “women older than 75 years represent the most important target population for stroke prevention in patients with AF, and the effectiveness of novel anticoagulants in this population in real-world practice will need to be closely monitored.”

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