Heart Drug Warfin used to treat AFib tied to Dementia Risk
An interesting study was recently published showing that people with the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation (AF) may be at a greater risk of developing dementia, and the quality of their drug treatment may play a role.
Researchers found that patients on the clot-preventing drug warfarin showed a higher dementia risk if their blood levels of the medication were frequently too high or too low.
This turned out to be true not only for people with AF, but also for those using warfarin for other reasons.
Dr. Neil Sanghvi commented on this study and article.
“I believe this study highlights the importance of monitoring warfarin levels closely and to consider alternate anticoagulation options if the warfarin levels are difficult to maintain. Patients should not become concerned if their warfarin level is in range > 75% of the time. This study also supports the importance of using anticoagulation in AF patients since patients with too low warfarin levels were also prone to dementia.”
SOURCES: T. Jared Bunch, M.D., Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, Murray, Utah; Gordon Tomaselli, M.D., chief, division of cardiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and past president, American Heart Association; May 5, 2016, presentation, Heart Rhythm Society annual meeting, San Francisco