Women with irregular heart rhythm carry a higher risk of stroke than men
Women with irregular heart rhythm (known as atrial fibrillation) have a moderately increased risk of stroke compared with men, suggesting that female sex should be considered when making decisions about anti-clotting treatment, finds a study published on BMJ today.
Several studies have suggested that women with atrial fibrillation are at higher risk for ischaemic stroke (caused by an interruption of the blood supply to the brain) than men, but other studies found no such difference.
So researchers based at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and the University of Birmingham in the UK decided to investigate whether women with atrial fibrillation have higher risk of stroke than men.
The study involved over 100,000 patients with a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation at any Swedish hospital or hospital affiliated outpatient clinic. Participants were tracked for an average of 1.2 years (a total of 139,504 years at risk - a term that adds up the time each person in the study was at risk).
In this period there were 7,221 patients who had thromboembolic strokes due to clots, while ischaemic strokes (due to lack of blood supply to the brain) were more common: there were 4,264 strokes during 69,005 years at risk in women, and 2,957 strokes during 70,594 years at risk in men, corresponding to overall annual stroke rates of 6.2% and 4.2% respectively.
Even after adjusting for 35 factors that could have influenced the results, women still had an 18% higher risk of stroke than men. The absolute risks were low for both sexes, however: the annual rate of stroke was 1.9% for women aged 65-74 and was lower for men.
Furthermore, women younger than 65 years and without any other risk factors (apart from atrial fibrillation) did not have a higher risk of stroke than men. There were 31 strokes in women (during 4,626 years at risk) and 53 strokes in men (during 11,677) and this difference was not statistically significant.
The authors conclude that women with atrial fibrillation have a moderately increased risk of stroke compared with men, and thus, female sex should be considered when making decisions about anti-clotting treatment. They add: "In borderline situations, in which a decision about whether to give anticoagulation treatment weighs in the balance, we suggest that female sex should probably tip the scale towards initiating treatment."
However, they say that women younger than 65 years and without other risk factors have a low risk for stroke, and do not need anticoagulation treatment.
In an accompanying editorial, Professor Eva Prescott from the University Hospital, Bispebjerg in Denmark says, despite some inherent weaknesses, this and other registry studies provide reassurance to clinicians. "The registry data confirm overall that women are at higher risk of stroke than men, but when differences in age and risk factor profile are taken into account the excess risk is low," she writes. "More importantly, the absolute risk in younger women with no other risk factors is low and does not merit treatment with oral anticoagulants."
Provided by British Medical Journal
- Rheumatoid arthritis linked to irregular heart rhythm Mar 08, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Risk of stroke greater for women than men among older patients diagnosed with atrial fibrillation May 08, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- UK doctors still undertreating atrial fibrillation - major risk factor for stroke Oct 13, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Atrial fibrillation associated with increased risk of death and cardiovascular events in women May 24, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Atrial arrhythmias detected by pacemakers increase risk of stroke Jan 11, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Question of reflection and transmission of TEM wave in normal incidenc
5 hours ago Suppose TEM wave in +z normal to a boundary on xy plane at z=0. We know *E* & *H* are tangential to the boundary. Let ##\vec E_i=\hat x E##, be the...
the rudyak-krasnolutski effective potencial
5 hours ago Hi ... anyone now how to calculate or the formula of the rudyak-krasnolutski EFFECTIVE potencial ? the effective potencial includes the angular...
Normal force for a lever model
7 hours ago My model is a lever on a table top. One arm is horizontal on the table, while the other arm is raised at an angle alpha. I'm assuming the weight of...
gravity is std. therefore can we rate a 'mass at height' by watts?
12 hours ago For example.... wind turbines are primarily listed by their wattage (1.5MW etc.) Presumably their output is varied according to rotational speed, so...
Calculating on-axis elements of a solenoid
May 22, 2013 I wanted to mention that this solenoid has many winds over many layers. The thickness of the windings is 2.4 inches coming off of the engineering...
latitude & longitude & air pressure
May 22, 2013 Hi there, I have a peculiar question. Imagine that you are in a earth position, obtained by google, that gives you the latitude and longitude....
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
(HealthDay)—In patients who have previously been considered difficult to image, dual-source cardiac (DSC) computed tomography (CT) can identify clinically significant coronary artery disease, according ...
Cardiology 3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
UCLA researchers examining outcomes for advanced heart-failure patients over the past two decades have found that, coinciding with the increased availability and use of new therapies, overall mortality has decreased and sudden ...
Cardiology 6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
22 May 2013, Paris, France: The Lotus Valve, a second-generation transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) device, was successfully implanted in all of the first 60 patients in results from REPRISE II reported at EuroPCR ...
Cardiology 11 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Costs to treat stroke are projected to more than double and the number of people having strokes may increase 20 percent by 2030, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.
Cardiology May 22, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Blood thinners are the preferred treatment option to prevent heart attacks, blood clots and stroke, but they are not without risk, and not just because of their side effects. These high-risk drugs, known as anticoagulants, ...
Cardiology May 22, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Regulating the distribution of power in neurons is done by a system that makes the national electric grid look simple by comparison. Each neuron has several thousand mitochondria confined ...
4 hours ago | 4.8 / 5 (5) | 0 |
Teams of highly respected Alzheimer's researchers failed to replicate what appeared to be breakthrough results for the treatment of this brain disease when they were published last year in the journal Science.
8 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 2 |
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health report they have discovered in mouse studies that a small molecule released in the spinal cord triggers a process that is later experienced in the brain as ...
8 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
A brief visual task can predict IQ, according to a new study. This surprisingly simple exercise measures the brain's unconscious ability to filter out visual movement. The study shows that individuals whose ...
10 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (7) | 0 |
Little is known about why asthma develops, how it constricts the airway or why response to treatments varies between patients. Now, a team of researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College, Columbia University Medical Center ...
8 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Ethnic background plays a surprisingly large role in how diabetes develops on a cellular level, according to two new studies led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |