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Z Kardiol. 2005 Feb;94(2):87-94.

[Atrial fibrillation and thromboprophylaxis in elderly patients].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1IV. Medizinische Klinik, Universitätsklinik Mannheim, Fakultät für Klinische Medizin der Universität Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany.


Chronic, nonvalvular atrial fibrillation occurs more frequently with increasing age, together with an increasing risk for ischemic stroke. Guidelines recommend oral anticoagulation with a vitamin K antagonist for patients >65 years without risk factors and patients <65 years with risk factors for cardiac diseases. Advancing age also increases the risk for bleeding complications under oral anticoagulants; thus, only a part of these patients receives anticoagulant therapy. The risk of falls in elderly patients is of advancing relevance for this therapeutic decision. Oral direct thrombin inhibitors like ximelagatran may be an alternative choice for therapy. Ischemic strokes and systemic embolism in the same frequency with 2x36 mg ximelagatran over 18 months (91/3664 patients: 1.6%/year, for study Sportif III and Sportif V) compared with warfarin (93/3665 patients: 1.6%/year for study Sportif III and Sportif V). All bleeding complications occurred less frequently under therapy with ximelagatran. This could be of importance for elderly patients with risk factors for bleeding or risk of falling.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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