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Aspirin similar to warfarin in stroke prevention

In the largest and longest head-to-head comparison of two anti-clotting medications, warfarin and aspirin performed similarly well in preventing deaths and strokes in heart failure patients with normal heart rhythm, according to late-breaking research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2012 in New Orleans.

“Although there was a warfarin benefit for patients treated for four or more years, overall, warfarin and aspirin were similar,” said Shunichi Homma, MD, lead author of the study and the Margaret Milliken Hatch Professor of Medicine at Columbia University in New York City.
In the 11-country Warfarin versus Aspirin in Reduced Cardiac Ejection Fraction (WARCEF) trial, researchers followed 2,305 patients with heart failure and normal heart rhythm for up to six years (average of 3.5 years). The patients were on average 61 years old, with left ventricular ejection fraction of less than 35% (normal is 55% or higher).
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