MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Tom Marshall, MSc, PhD, MRGP, FFPH
Professor of public health and primary care
Institute of Applied Health Research
University of Birmingham
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: It is widely recognised that anticoagulants are underused in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) although they are effective in reducing risk of stroke. We investigated whether this could be explained by the fact that many AF patients have conditions which are considered relative contraindications to their use.
We analysed electronic medical records from 645 general practices from 2004 to 2015 and included over 1 million patients with AF. We found that about 6% of AF patients had are relative contraindications such as recent history of major bleeding. In each of the 12 years, similar numbers of patients with and without contraindications were prescribed anticoagulants.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Response: Contraindications are not the reason why many atrial fibrillation patients are not prescribed anticoagulants.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: We need to know how important contraindications really are. The benefits of reduced strokes may be worth the increased risks of bleeding with anticoagulants but it would help to specifically address this question through further research.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Adderley N et al. The role of contraindications in prescribing anticoagulants to patients with atrial fibrillation: a cross-sectional analysis of primary care data in the UK Br J Gen Pract 2017; DOI: https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp17X691685
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