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Rev Esp Cardiol. 2002 Jan;55(1):55-60.

[Changes in the clinical profile of patients treated with oral anticoagulants in the 1990's].

[Article in Spanish]

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Unidad de Cardiología, Hospital Ciudad de Jaén, Jaén.



During the last few years the efficacy of oral anticoagulant treatment in the prevention of thromboembolic complications among patients with cardiac diseases has been well established. This has determined an increase in the number of patients undergoing this therapy and a change in the clinical profile of these patients.


To determine the number and the changes in the clinical characteristics of patients treated with oral anticoagulants during the last decade.


The charts of 5,771 hospitalized patients between January 1, 1991 and December 31, 1999, were retrospectively reviewed. We analyzed the number of patients discharged with anticoagulant treatment, the clinical profile and the evolution during the decade.


761 (13.1%) patients were discharged with anticoagulants. The therapy was prescribed to 7.4% of the patients from 1991-1993 and to 15.1% of the patients from 1998-1999. The mean age of the patients was 60.4 from 1991-1993 and 67.1 from 1998-1999 (p < 0.001). At the beginning of the decade, 90% of the patients had prosthetic valves, suffered from rheumatic heart disease or had had thromboembolic phenomena previously. At the end of the decade, only 49% could be included in these groups.


a) The use of oral anticoagulants among our hospitalized patients has been duplicated during the past ten years; b) the clinical profile has changed, patients are now older and with different morbidity; c) the rheumatic heart disease and the prosthetic valves are no longer the predominant indications, and d) the use of therapy as secondary prevention has decreased significantly.

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