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Undiagnosed Heart Condition 'AFib' May Be Common, Study Suggests

Posted 26 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, Aug. 26, 2017 – Many people at risk for atrial fibrillation probably do have the irregular heart rhythm but have not been diagnosed, a new study reports. Nearly 1 out of 3 patients in the study had undetected atrial fibrillation that was caught only through the use of long-term cardiac monitor implants, researchers say. Based on these results, it's likely there's probably a lot more undetected atrial fibrillation among seniors, said lead researcher Dr. James Reiffel. He's a cardiologist and professor at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. "Continuous monitoring of such patients, as we did, can detect otherwise unsuspected AF, which can lead to treatment before complications arise," Reiffel said. "When monitored for 18 months, almost one in three patients had AF detected, as did 40 percent by 30 months." Atrial fibrillation involves ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Ischemic Stroke, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Lovenox, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Clexane, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Dabigatran

Nurses Learn How to Get Patients to Say 'Yes' to Blood Thinners

Posted 17 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 17, 2017 – Online training for nurses increased hospital patients' use of medication that can prevent potentially deadly blood clots, a new study reveals. Nurses sometimes won't give the blood thinning drugs if patients don't want them. So researchers developed the training to teach nurses how to respond when patients say they don't want to take blood thinners. The study included more than 900 nurses at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. After the online training, the number of patients who refused to take prescribed blood thinners dropped from 12.4 percent to 11.1 percent, the findings showed. "We teach in hopes of improving patient care, but there's actually very little evidence that online professional education can have a measurable impact. Our results show that it does," study senior author Dr. Elliott Haut said in a Johns Hopkins news release. Haut is vice chair ... Read more

Related support groups: Bleeding Disorder, Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Lovenox, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Dalteparin, Jantoven, Dabigatran

Better Treatment Might Prevent Hundreds of Thousands of Strokes

Posted 15 May 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 15, 2017 – 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. "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 ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Ischemic Stroke, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Lovenox, Transient Ischemic Attack, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Dalteparin

'Ablation' Procedure Helps 3 out of 4 Patients With Irregular Heartbeat

Posted 25 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 25, 2017 – Just how successful is the procedure called catheter ablation at fixing irregular heartbeats that can be potentially fatal? Pretty successful, a new study found, but there are caveats. Burning or freezing specific areas of the heart can alleviate the common irregular heart beat called atrial fibrillation in 74 percent of patients. However, the procedure doesn't work for everyone and there are risks of complications, researchers report. Atrial fibrillation increases the risk of early death by two times in women and 1.5 times in men. It causes 20 to 30 percent of all strokes and can decrease quality of life due to palpitations, shortness of breath, tiredness, weakness and psychological distress, the study authors explained. About 2.7 million Americans suffer from atrial fibrillation, according to the American Heart Association. For those whose atrial ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Disorders, Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Arrhythmia, Pradaxa, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Jantoven, Dabigatran, Coagulation Defects and Disorders, Atrial Tachycardia, Argatroban, Refludan, Desirudin, Lepirudin, Angiomax, Iprivask, Anisindione, Miradon

Pradaxa Blood Thinner May Beat Warfarin After Bleeding Episode: Study

Posted 2 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 1, 2016 – Use of a blood thinner is routine for many heart patients, but these drugs come with a risk of episodes of excess bleeding. What, if any, anticoagulant (blood thinner) should these patients take after such episodes arise? A new study suggests that the blood thinner Pradaxa (dabigatran) may be a better choice than the standby drug warfarin in these cases. The reason: Pradaxa is less likely than warfarin to cause recurrent bleeding in patients who recently suffered a bleeding stroke or other major bleeding event, the researchers found. "Our results should encourage clinicians to seriously consider resuming anticoagulation among patients who survived a major bleeding event, particularly if the source of bleeding was identified and addressed," said study senior author Dr. Samir Saba. He's associate chief of cardiology at the University of Pittsburgh Heart and ... Read more

Related support groups: Bleeding Disorder, Warfarin, Coumadin, Ischemic Stroke, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Lovenox, Transient Ischemic Attack, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Intracranial Hemorrhage, Dalteparin

Gene Test May ID Chemo Patients at Risk of Clots: Study

Posted 1 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 1, 2016 – Genetic testing could help identify breast cancer patients at high risk for the formation of blood clots in their veins, new research suggests. This problem, called venous thromboembolism (VTE), is a serious and potentially fatal complication that can occur during cancer treatment, particularly chemotherapy. Because breast cancer is one of the most common cancers, breast cancer patients account for a large number of cancer-related VTE cases, said study author Judith Brand. She's a postdoctoral researcher in the department of medical epidemiology and biostatistics at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Venous thromboembolism is preventable through treatment with an anti-clotting drug. But side effects, such as bleeding, mean this therapy is not routinely used in patients undergoing chemotherapy, the researchers explained. The new study included more than ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Disorders, Cancer, Warfarin, Coumadin, Breast Cancer, Xarelto, Prostate Cancer, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Lovenox, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Heparin, Melanoma, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Arixtra

Minorities Less Likely to Get Clot-Clearing Stroke Drug

Posted 14 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 14, 2016 – A clot-busting drug known as tPA can greatly improve stroke outcomes, but it isn't given to minorities nearly as often as it is given to white men, a new U.S. study shows. Blacks were 26 percent less likely, and other minority patients were 17 percent less likely, to be treated with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) than white men, the researchers found. In addition, women were 8 percent less likely to be given the clot buster than men. "It is helpful to get a sense of what factors are associated with not treating patients with this proven therapy," said lead researcher Dr. Steven Messe. He is an associate professor of neurology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Although Messe isn't sure why these disparities exist, he thinks "it is possible that this has already improved in more recent years." The drug is given after an ischemic stroke, ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Ischemic Stroke, Pradaxa, Transient Ischemic Attack, Jantoven, Dabigatran, Argatroban, Desirudin, Lepirudin, Refludan, Anisindione, Angiomax, Bivalirudin, Iprivask, Dicumarol, Miradon, Acova

Irregular Heartbeat May Be Deadly in Car Crash

Posted 10 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 10, 2016 – Having the common heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation might be risky if you get into a car accident, a new study suggests. Atrial fibrillation is a quivering or irregular heartbeat. Researchers report the condition is linked to higher chances of dying if you're in a crash, although their study didn't prove a cause-and-effect relationship. "Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder, and incidence is rising. Many of these patients are on anticoagulants to lower their stroke risk, but these drugs increase the chance of bleeding," said study author Dr. Abhishek Deshmukh, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. However, "we should not jump the gun and advise patients with atrial fibrillation to stop driving. This was a retrospective observational study and needs to be confirmed by further research," he said in an European ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Arixtra, Jantoven, Dabigatran, Fondaparinux, Edoxaban, Savaysa, Miradon, Lepirudin, Arixtra 5 mg/dose, Argatroban, Desirudin

The Pill, Hormone Therapy Safe for Women Taking Blood Thinners: Study

Posted 22 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 22, 2015 – Women on blood thinners can also take contraceptives that contain estrogen, or hormone replacement therapy, without raising their risk for blood clots or uterine bleeding, a new Italian study finds. Currently, women diagnosed with blood clots may be advised to stop hormone therapy or use of the contraceptive pill – even if they are already on a blood thinner. The reason: Doctors are often concerned that these drug combinations might raise the patient's risk for more clots. However, "there has been no evidence to support this decision," said the study's senior author, Dr. Ida Martinelli, of the A. Bianchi Bonomi Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center in Milan. "We conducted this study to address the fear felt by both the physician and patient when making the decision to stop or continue hormone therapy in this setting," she explained in a news release from the ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Blood Disorders, Emergency Contraception, Bleeding Disorder, Warfarin, Hot Flashes, Coumadin, Estradiol, Menopausal Disorders, Xarelto, Postcoital Contraception, Premarin, Pradaxa, Ethinyl Estradiol, Estrace, Eliquis, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Lovenox, Vagifem

Health Tip: Know Your Risk for Deep Vein Thrombosis

Posted 4 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

-- A dangerous condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot develops in a vein deep inside the body. The U.S. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute mentions these potential risk factors: Having had a previous DVT, or taking medication that thickens the blood or promotes clotting. Having had surgery, a broken bone or other injury that affects a deep vein. Having reduced blood flow to a deep vein as a result of inactivity. Typical causes are post-surgical recovery, or taking a long trip that limits your ability to move around. Being pregnant. Being treated for cancer. Having a central venous catheter. Being over the age of 60, being a smoker or being obese. Read more

Related support groups: Blood Disorders, Warfarin, Coumadin, Xarelto, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Pradaxa, Eliquis, Lovenox, Deep Vein Thrombosis, Heparin, Deep Vein Thrombosis - First Event, Deep Vein Thrombosis - Recurrent Event, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Deep Vein Thrombosis Prophylaxis after Knee Replacement Surgery, Clexane, Deep Vein Thrombosis - Prophylaxis, Arixtra

How Long Do Patients With Clots in the Lung Need Blood Thinners?

Posted 7 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 7, 2015 – People who suffer a blood clot in the lungs with no obvious cause can ward off a new clot with extended use of blood-thinning medications, a new study shows. However, the length of time those blood thinners should be given is unclear, since their benefits wear off soon after use is discontinued, the French researchers found. The clots are called pulmonary emboli, explained one U.S. expert, Dr. Richard Hayes. "Pulmonary emboli are clots in the blood vessels to the lungs that arise from the veins of the leg or thigh," said Hayes, a cardiologist at Lenox Health in New York City. One type of clot is deep vein thrombosis (DVT), often nicknamed "economy-class syndrome" because of cases occurring after long-haul flights. In many cases, Hayes said, there's a trigger – extended bedrest, obesity, recent surgery – for the clot, but in other cases the clots seem to arise ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Pulmonary Embolism, Lovenox, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Pulmonary Embolism - Recurrent Event, Apixaban, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Jantoven, Dabigatran, Dalteparin, Innohep

White Men May Get Better Treatment for Abnormal Heartbeat

Posted 30 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 30, 2015 – Women, Hispanics and blacks are less likely than white men to receive optimal treatment for atrial fibrillation in the United States, researchers say. The study of more than a half-million Medicare patients found that women with this abnormal heart rhythm are less likely than men to get blood thinners to prevent stroke, which is a serious risk with atrial fibrillation. Women, blacks and Hispanics are also less likely to get catheter ablation, a surgical procedure that can restore the heart's normal rhythm. "Across the board, women are offered less aggressive care, particularly in cardiology," said lead researcher Dr. Prashant Bhave, a clinical assistant professor of internal medicine at University of Iowa Health Care. "There are still gaps in how patients are treated," he said. "The most important one is the difference in prescribing blood thinners. Ablation ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Lovenox, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Dabigatran, Jantoven, Dalteparin

Drug May Be Antidote to Bleeding Tied to Blood Thinner Pradaxa

Posted 22 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 22, 2015 – The new blood thinner Pradaxa (dabigatran) is being widely used, but it comes with one serious drawback: rare but dangerous cases of sudden, uncontrolled bleeding in patients. Now, a new study finds than an experimental, injected drug called idarucizumab could be used to quickly stop that bleeding. "Idarucizumab completely reversed the anticoagulant [bleeding] effect of dabigatran within minutes," researchers say in a study published online June 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine. In recent years, new-generation blood thinners such as Pradaxa have been approved as more manageable alternatives to older drugs such as warfarin. Unlike warfarin, these drugs "do not require blood tests for monitoring... while offering similar results in terms of effectiveness," explained Dr. Kevin Marzo, chief of cardiology at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y. ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Pradaxa, Transient Ischemic Attack, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Prosthetic Heart Valves, Prosthetic Heart Valves - Mechanical Valves, Atrial Flutter, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Thrombotic/Thromboembolic Disorder, Prosthetic Heart Valves - Tissue Valves, Dabigatran, Jantoven, Mitral Stenosis, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Valvular Heart Disease, History - Thrombotic/Thromboembolic Disorder, Argatroban

Blood Thinners OK for Cancers That Spread to Brain, Study Finds

Posted 2 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 2, 2015 – Blood-thinning drugs are safe for treating blood clots in patients with cancer that has spread to the brain from other areas of the body, according to new research. Cancer normally increases a person's risk of blood clots, the study authors explained in a news release from the American Society of Hematology. When a cancer patient develops a clot, a blood thinner – also called an anticoagulant – is often added to the cancer treatment regimen to prevent the risk of blood clots traveling to the lungs. Such a clot can be fatal. However, if cancer spreads from other parts of the body to the brain (called brain metastases), doctors are hesitant to prescribe blood thinners because of concern they might cause bleeding in the head, which is already a risk for these patients, the study authors added. The new findings show that the use of blood thinners in these patients ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Warfarin, Coumadin, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Lovenox, Brain Tumor, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Dabigatran, Dalteparin, Jantoven, Fondaparinux

Irregular Heartbeat May Pose Higher Stroke Risk for Women Than Men

Posted 31 Aug 2012 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 31 – Women older than 75 who have a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation are 20 percent more likely to have a stroke than men in the same age group with atrial fibrillation, according to a large new study. However, researchers said the findings suggest that being a woman should not be included as an independent risk factor for stroke or blood clots, either in guidelines for treatment or risk assessment of patients with atrial fibrillation, because the difference doesn't hold for women younger than 75. The study included more than 87,000 atrial fibrillation patients in Denmark. Of those patients, more than 51 percent were female. After one year of follow-up, female patients younger than 75 did not have an increased risk of stroke, but those over age 75 had a 20 percent increased risk, the investigators found. The study was presented Sunday at the European ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Lovenox, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Dalteparin, Jantoven, Dabigatran, Fondaparinux, Innohep, Tinzaparin

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