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Blood-thinning drugs may cut dementia risk by upto 48%

25 Octobre 2017

"This large study suggests that anticoagulant [blood thinning] drugs could reduce dementia risk in people with atrial fibrillation, but it cannot prove cause and effect".

Their risk was reduced by up to 48% compared with others with the same condition who were not prescribed the drugs.

The team said the findings "strongly suggest" that blood-thinning pills protect against dementia in patients with the condition.

It is not possible to give placebo to AF patients and then wait for dementia or stroke to occur'.

Patients taking anticoagulants for atrial fibrillation were at a much lower risk of developing dementia than those who were not, a new study has revealed. In order to prove this assumption, randomised placebo controlled trials would be needed, but a previously pointed out, such studies can not be done because of ethical reasons.

The researchers identified everyone in Sweden who had been given a diagnosis of AF between 2006 and 2014.

Most people with atrial fibrillation are prescribed blood thinners - such as warfarin, edoxaban or rivaroxaban - yet many choose not to take the drugs or stop taking them after a few years.

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Monitoring each person's progress provided 1.5 million years of follow-up during which 26,210 patients were diagnosed with dementia.

They also found that the sooner oral anticoagulant treatment was started after a diagnosis of AF, the greater was the protective effect against dementia. Explain to your patients how these drugs work and why they should use them. To patients I would say "don't stop unless your doctor says so".

And every year another 10 to 15 per cent stopped taking the treatments. In this study we found that only 54% of patients were on oral anticoagulant treatment.

Scientists analysed health record data from more than 444,000 Swedish AF patients. Few patients are fatalistic about dementia, which gradually makes you lose your mind.

"No brain can withstand a constant bombardment of microscopic clots in the long run. In order to preserve what you´ve got, you should take care to use anticoagulants if you are diagnosed with AF, as they have been proved to protect against stroke and, which this study indicates, also appear to protect against dementia".

Research in the European Heart Journal tracked almost half a million patients with atrial fibrillation.

Blood-thinning drugs may cut dementia risk by upto 48%