Blood Thinners and Low-Risk Irregular Heartbeat.

As many as one-quarter of people with atrial fibrillation who have a low risk of stroke are given blood-thinning drugs they likely don't need, a new study contends .
In those patients with no risk factors for stroke, the risk of bleeding likely outweighs the benefit of stroke reduction. The fact that blood thinners were prescribed to so many patients with no risk factors for stroke is a wake-up call that we need to do better for our patients.
Men were more likely to be prescribed blood thinners than women, as were older patients and overweight patients without stroke risk factors, according to the findings in a research letter .
"Our study suggests people are trying to do the right thing, but due to a lack of understanding of some of the critical nuances, go too far in that direction in low-risk patients" .