Safety and Efficacy of New Anticoagulants in Patients with Heart Failure

University of Birmingham Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences, City Hospital, Birmingham, UK.
Current Heart Failure Reports 12/2012; 10(1). DOI: 10.1007/s11897-012-0125-5
Source: PubMed


Heart failure (HF) is a common and growing health problem with high morbidity and mortality rates. Thromboembolism is a major contributor to the poor prognosis of HF patients. HF independently increases the risk of thromboembolism, and the high incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) in HF patients further adds to the risk of thromboembolic events. The reviewed evidence for the efficacy of anticoagulation in HF patients shows a potential preventive effect of oral anticoagulation in thromboembolism-in particular, risk reduction for stroke-but this is offset by an increased risk of major bleeding. However, given the inhomogeneity of the HF cohorts, the diagnosis of AF warranting oral anticoagulation, the increasing awareness of the potential of bleeding risk assessment, and the advantages of the new oral anticoagulants, the future of thromboembolic prevention in HF patients could very well be brighter than it appears and help improve outcomes for this large group of patients.

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