Rome, Italy—While new oral anticoagulants provide the same stroke prevention as warfarin, they generally are able to do so with less intracranial bleeding, according to an observational study in more than 43,000 patients. The research from Hervlev and Gentofte University Hospital in Denmark was presented recently at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress 2016 in Rome. The presentation notes that treatment with nonvitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs such as dabigatran, rivaroxaban, and apixaban) and vitamin K antagonists (warfarin) lowers the risk of stroke but also increases the risk of bleeding. In this study, 42% of patients were taking warfarin, while 29%, 16%, and 13% were taking dabigatran, apixaban, and rivaroxaban, respectively. The researchers found that the risk of intracranial bleeding at 1 year was significantly lower in patients treated with dabigatran and apixaban (0.3%-0.4%) compared to those treated with warfarin (0.6%).

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