Better treatment may prevent thousands of strokes each year

Dhaka,  Mon,  29 May 2017
Published : 16 May 2017, 12:06:15
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Better treatment may prevent thousands of strokes each year

Better treatment may prevent thousands of strokes each year
Hundreds of thousands of strokes might be prevented in the United States each year if more people with a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation took blood-thinning medications, a new study estimates.

Atrial fibrillation causes the heart to quiver instead of beating normally. This causes blood to pool and possibly clot, according to the American Heart Association. If one of those clots breaks free, it can go to the brain and cause a stroke, reports UPI.

"Though not a life-threatening rhythm abnormality per se, atrial fibrillation can be associated with devastating life-altering consequences, namely disabling stroke," said one expert, Dr. Nicholas Skipitaris. He directs cardiac electrophysiology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Unfortunately, too few people are getting the treatment for "a-fib" that they need, the new study found. Taking blood thinners might reduce these patients' stroke risk by two-thirds, according to the authors of the study published May 15 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

In the new research, a team led by Dr. Lucas Marzec tracked data on 655,000 atrial fibrillation patients treated by cardiologists nationwide over seven years.

The study found that 4 in 10 of the patients weren't getting the blood thinners they needed to cut their stroke risk. Plus, up to 35 percent of patients who were taking the drugs weren't getting them at the recommended amount.

 
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