A new study by researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City found that using long-term aspirin therapy to prevent strokes among patients who are considered to be at low risk for stroke may not be effective as previously thought.
The study found that atrial fibrillation patients who received a catheter ablation and were low risk of stroke didn’t benefit from long-term aspirin therapy, but are at risk of higher rates of bleeding compared to no therapy at all. Researchers found long-term use of aspirin to prevent strokes among low-risk patients may not be as effective as previously thought.
A study conducted by researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City found that atrial fibrillation patients who received a catheter ablation and were low risk of stroke didn’t benefit from long-term aspirin therapy. Instead, they faced a higher risk of bleeding compared to no therapy at all.
The paper presented by them at Heart Rhythm 2017, the Heart Rhythm Society’s 38th Annual Scientific Sessions, in Chicago today, Saturday, May 13, 2017, is significant as it throws light on a major concern in patients with atrial fibrillation, and those who undergo a catheter ablation for AF.
“Traditionally, lower-risk AF patients have been treated with aspirin without significant supportive data,” said Jared Bunch, lead author and director of Heart Rhythm Research at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute.
The study conducted for over three years on those who were on aspirin showed that they had a significantly higher risk for gastrointestinal bleeding compared to those on warfarin or who weren’t treated at all.
“This study continues to show that aspirin has little to no benefit for stroke prevention in AF patients and when used in low-risk patients it significantly increases a patient’s bleeding risk,” he said.
Since stroke is the most feared complication of AF, Bunch said his team would continue to study all available therapies to understand the most effective and safest treatment choices and how to use them after ablation, if not aspirin.