New data reveal high rates of stroke history in asymptomatic atrial fibrillation patients
Boehringer Ingelheim today announced findings from GLORIA™-AF which show that people with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) with few or no symptoms are more likely to have had a stroke prior to AF diagnosis than symptomatic AF patients.1 This may be a consequence of asymptomatic AF patients taking longer to receive a diagnosis.
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Dr. Steffen Christow, Cardiologist and Head of the Electrophysiology Lab at the Hospital Ingolstadt GmbH, Germany (Photo: Business Wire)
Dr. Steffen Christow, Cardiologist and Head of the Electrophysiology Lab at the Hospital Ingolstadt GmbH, Germany commented, “Without detection, AF patients remain at risk of stroke, which can be a debilitating, life-changing and potentially fatal condition. GLORIA™-AF underscores a public health need for AF screening programmes in high risk populations, so that people can be diagnosed early and receive appropriate anticoagulant therapy as well as risk factor management to reduce the risk of AF-related stroke and mortality.”
The sub-analysis of global registry programme GLORIA™-AF, one of the largest, observational studies collecting real-world safety, effectiveness and patient outcomes data on the long-term use of anticoagulants in patients with AF, compared patient characteristics of 6,011 patients with AF in Western Europe. 4,119 patients (69%) showed few or no symptoms and 1,892 patients (31%) reported symptoms at the point of diagnosis. Those patients without symptoms were more than twice as likely to have had a previous stroke (14.7% versus 6.0%).1
Professor Jörg Kreuzer, Vice President Medicine, Therapeutic Area Cardiovascular, Boehringer Ingelheim commented, “The GLORIA™-AF study is an important initiative and we are really pleased that these findings have been included in the EHRA Highlights Session today. We look forward to further results from GLORIA™-AF that will support physician prescribing decisions for stroke prevention. Future data analyses will include two year follow-up data from about 5,000 dabigatran patients from routine clinical practice worldwide.”
AF is the most common sustained heart rhythm condition worldwide,2 with numbers expected to rise in the coming years. Overall, people diagnosed with AF have a five-fold increased risk of stroke,3 which occurs when a blood clot blocks a vessel in the brain. Each year three million patients suffer AF-related strokes.4,5
Anticoagulation treatment options include vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) such as warfarin and the newer class of treatments, non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants (NOACs), such as dabigatran etexilate. Marketed as Pradaxa® by Boehringer Ingelheim, dabigatran etexilate was the first NOAC to be approved for stroke prevention in AF, which represented a major advancement in anticoagulation care. Pradaxa® is the only NOAC with an approved and widely available reversal agent, Praxbind® (idarucizumab).
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