, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 357-360
Date: 03 Aug 2011

Review of the Randomized Evaluation of Long-Term Anticoagulation Therapy (RE-LY) Trial: Warfarin Versus Dabigatran

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Trial:

Connolly SJ, Ezekowitz MD, Yusuf S, et al.: Dabigatran versus warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation. N Engl J Med 2009, 361:1139–1151.

Rating:

•Of importance.

Introduction:

Atrial fibrillation is the most common sustained arrhythmia in clinical medicine affecting over 2 million Americans. As the population ages, the risk of atrial fibrillation increases with a prevalence of 9%, and a yearly incidence of 2% in octogenarians [13]. Atrial fibrillation is an independent risk factor for stroke, with a yearly rate of ischemic stroke of approximately 5% [3, 4]. Patients with atrial fibrillation have an increased mortality compared with matched controls [3, 5]. Warfarin has been the recommended antithrombotic for prevention of strokes in patients with atrial fibrillation and at least one risk factor for ischemic stroke [6]. Warfarin is more effective than placebo in decreasing stroke risk, with a relative risk reduction in ischemic stroke of 64% [7]. Antiplatelet agents when compare