Warfarin May Heighten Risk of Osteoporosis in Afib Patients

September 24, 2019

Patients with atrial fibrillation are commonly prescribed oral anticoagulants for stroke prevention, but in older patients at risk for osteoporosis, treatment with blood thinners may heighten osteoporosis risk, according to a study presented this week at the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research annual meeting in Orlando.

Patients with atrial fibrillation are commonly prescribed oral anticoagulants for stroke prevention, but in older patients at risk for osteoporosis, treatment with blood thinners may heighten osteoporosis risk, according to a study presented this week at the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research annual meeting in Orlando.

The study, by Carol Chiung-Hui Peng, M.D, of the University of Maryland Medical Center, included 17,142 patients with atrial fibrillation. Of these, 8,571 were assigned to a non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant (rivaroxaban, dabigatran, and apixaban) and another 8,571 were assigned to warfarin.

After a two-year follow-up, patients who were assigned to rivaroxaban and apixaban were found to have lower risks of osteoporosis as compared to patients treated with warfarin or dabigatran.

"The lower risk of osteoporosis in these patients was particularly observed in females, older patients, those receiving rivaroxaban and apixaban, and those with long-term oral anticoagulants use," the authors wrote.

REFERENCE:  Huei-Kai Huang, Carol Chiung-Hui Peng, Shu-Man Lin, et al. "[FRI-632] Risk of osteoporosis with non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant vs. warfarin among patients with atrial fibrillation: a real-world nationwide propensity score-matched cohort study." American Society for Bone and Mineral Research annual meeting. Sept. 20, 2019.