Sunday, 19 Nov 2017

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Anti-stroke drugs also protect against dementia: study

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Health Desk—Oct 25, 2017: People with heart trouble who take blood- thinning medication to avoid strokes may also significantly reduce their risk of dementia, a study published Wednesday said.

Researchers found that of 444,106 patients in Sweden who had atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart condition that can provoke strokes, those taking drugs to prevent blood clots had a 29 percent lower risk of developing dementia.

The risk further decreased as patients continued to take the medication, they reported in the European Heart Journal.

The study -- the largest ever on the link between anticoagulants and dementia in atrial fibrillation patients -- looked at data from Swedish health registries covering the period 2006-2014.

The strong link with dementia suggests blood thinners are responsible for lowering risk, but clinical trials would be needed to establish cause-and- effect, the scientists said.