A new study published in the August 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine has confirmed that chronic kidney disease (CKD) increases the risk of bleeding and stroke in AF patients. For this Danish study, researchers monitored data collected from 132,372 patients who had been discharged from the hospital with a diagnosis of nonvalvular AF from 1997 to 2008.

According to the research, Warfarin and other anticoagulant medications used to treat AF aim to reduce stroke risks but actually increase the risk of bleeding. The study also showed that aspirin increases bleeding and stroke risks for AF patients. This study helped to show that patients with renal disease should not use aspirin as part of their treatment. However, more studies will be needed before aspirin’s risk-to-benefit ratio can be compared against Warfarin’s.

The study’s lead author — Jonas Bjerring Olesen, research fellow from the Department of Cardiology, Copenhagen University Hospital in Hellerup, Denmark — spoke with Medscape Medical News. AF patients are generally treated with antithrombotic therapy in their efforts to lower their risk of having a stroke. Some previous studies have stated that Warfarin was a good treatment for patients in terms of lowering their stroke and systemic thromboembolism risks. However, research now is showing the exact opposite for AF patients who are on dialysis. The CKD patients with AF also have a higher bleeding risk.

These patients, who are at increased risk for both stroke and bleeding, represent “a very fragile patient group” that needs “very close monitoring,” according to Oleson.

“Despite the size of this patient group, large randomized trials of antithrombotic therapy in patients with atrial fibrillation have typically excluded those who also have moderate to severe chronic kidney disease, and the treatment of these patients has been based on data obtained from smaller observational studies,” he notes.

Although Warfarin may present a bleeding risk to patients, other medications can be even worse. One of the medications is the anticoagulant medication Multaq, which is made by Sanofi-Aventis. Multaq has been linked to liver failure and worsening of the heart condition, and because of this, the drug is only recommended for use if other medications for AF fail.

If you or a loved one has suffered from liver failure or a worsening heart condition after being treated with Multaq, contact the attorneys at Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I am experienced at fighting Multaq lawsuits and may be able to help you recover money for your injuries.