Risk factors for anticoagulation-related bleeding complications in patients with atrial fibrillation: a systematic review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Authors

Abstract

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with an increased stroke risk that may be reduced by therapeutic anticoagulation. However, anticoagulation is associated with an increased risk of bleeding that in some patients may outweigh the benefits in reducing the risk of stroke. We systematically reviewed the literature for risk factors of anticoagulation-related bleeding complications in patients with AF, as part of the formulation of recently published national guidelines for the management of AF. We identified nine studies that reported anticoagulation-related bleeding complications in AF patients. The following patient characteristics were identified as having supporting evidence for being risk factors for anticoagulation-related bleeding complications: advanced age, uncontrolled hypertension, history of myocardial infarction or ischaemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, anaemia or a history of bleeding, and the concomitant use of other drugs such as antiplatelet agents. The presence of diabetes mellitus, controlled hypertension and gender were not identified as significant risk factors. Some of the risk factors for anticoagulation-related bleeding are also indications for the use of anticoagulants in AF patients. There is a need for further research in this area to help physicians to balance the risks and benefits of anticoagulation in AF patients.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-607
Number of pages9
JournalQJM
Volume100
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2007

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