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Prescribing OACs in the ED increases long-term use by 30%

from Cardiovascular Business

Patients with atrial fibrillation may be more likely to stick to a regimen of oral anticoagulation if they're first prescribed OACs in the emergency department, according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. First author Clare L. Atzema, MD, MSc, of ICES Central, and colleagues explained in CMAJ that in Ontario, where they based their study, hospitals log around 20,000 emergency department visits for AFib each year. The arrhythmia is associated with a five-fold increased risk of stroke — for which one-year mortality is just 50% — and although stroke prevention with OACs can cut the risk of an event by 60%, oral anticoagulation is underused in the AFib population. "The advent of direct oral anticoagulants, which do not require bridging or monitoring of the international normalized ratio, may improve the willingness of emergency physicians to initiate a long-term medication that may cause bleeding," Atzema et al. wrote. more

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