AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Stroke / 07.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Todd C. Villines, M.D. FSCCT Professor of Medicine Uniformed Services University School of Medicine Director of Cardiovascular Research and Cardiac CT Cardiology Fellowship Program Director Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, Maryland Assistant Professor of Medicine Georgetown School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study was a retrospective, observational real-world analysis assessing the safety and effectiveness of novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) among patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) treated through the U.S. Department of Defense Military Health System. The study examined major bleeding and stroke rates in NVAF patients who had initiated treatment with dabigatran compared to those treated with rivaroxaban or apixaban. The study examined two cohorts: one that resulted in 12,763 propensity score matched dabigatran (150 mg bid) and rivaroxaban (20 mg daily) patients, and another that resulted in 4,802 propensity score matched dabigatran (150 mg bid) and apixaban (5 mg bid) patients. Dabigatran patients demonstrated lower rates of major bleeding compared to rivaroxaban patients (2.08 percent vs 2.53) percent and similar rates of stroke (0.60 percent vs 0.78 percent). In the exploratory analysis, dabigatran and apixaban patients showed similar rates of major bleeding (1.60 percent vs 1.21 percent) and stroke (0.44 percent vs 0.35 percent). (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Heart Disease / 26.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Leif Friberg MD, PhD Associate professor in cardiology Karolinska Institute Friberg Resarch Stockholm, Sweden  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: I have been doing research on atrial fibrillation and stroke risk for many years and knew that the very common heart arrhythmia is associated with a 40% increased risk of dementia. Considering that that 12-15% of 75 years olds have this arrhythmia, and even more at higher ages, the problem is significant to say the least. The mechanism behind stroke in atrial fibrillation is that blood clots are formed in the heart. When these are dislodged they travel with the blood stream and may get stuck in the narrow vessels of the brain where they stop blood flow causing brain infarction or stroke. Oral anticoagulant drugs like warfarin or the newer so called NOAC (new oral anticoagulant) drugs are highly efficient in preventing formation of these large blood clots and offer at least 70% risk reduction. Now, blood clots come in different sizes. There are also microscopic clots that do not cause symptoms of stroke but all the same eat away at the brain at a slow but steady pace. Imaging studies shows this after only a few months or even weeks of atrial fibrillation. Our hypothesis was therefore: If anticoagulants are so effective in protecting against large clots, will they not help against the small ones too? (more…)