Thursday, June 23, 2016

Wrong medicine for your particular stroke risks?

A few posts ago, I mention an article about the value of aspirin for those who experienced a mini-stroke.

Now, here's another article about when perhaps NOT to use aspirin when patients at risk for stroke get wrong medicine:
Researchers analyzed data on more than 500,000 people with atrial fibrillation, an irregular rapid heartbeat that can lead to stroke, heart failure and chronic fatigue.
Roughly 40 percent of these patients got aspirin instead of prescriptions for blood thinners – also called anticoagulants.
“By prescribing aspirin, we may be fooling ourselves
that the patient may be protected from stroke when this is not the case – blood thinners have been shown to be clearly more effective than aspirin in preventing stroke for atrial fibrillation patients,” lead study author Dr. Jonathan Hsu, a heart specialist at the University of California, San Diego, said by email.
In atrial fibrillation, electrical impulses in the upper chambers of the heart are chaotic, and the atrial walls quiver rather than contracting normally. As a result, blood doesn’t move as well to the heart’s lower chambers. This can lead to the formation of clots that can travel through the arteries. Atrial fibrillation patients have up to seven times the stroke risk of people without the disorder.
This is why it's so important that you communicate well with your health care provider - especially making a list of questions to ask during your visits.

(Photo from Mike Steele via Flickr)

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