Alcohol related hospitalisation is associated with a doubled risk of ischaemic stroke risk in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation, according to a study presented at ESC Congress 2016 today by Dr Faris Al-Khalili, cardiologist, Karolinska Institutet, Danderyd Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. The observational study was conducted in more than 25,000 non-valvular atrial fibrillation patients at low risk of stroke.
“Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart rhythm disturbance and is associated with a five-fold increased risk of ischaemic stroke,” said Dr Al-Khalili. “AF is also associated with increased mortality, reduced quality of life and a higher risk of heart failure.”
Treatment with oral anticoagulants reduces the risk of stroke and is recommended according to the number of stroke risk factors. Risk is estimated using the CHA2DS2-VASc score which gives points for clinical risk factors. Patients with non-valvular AF under the age of 65 and a score of 0 in men or 1 in women are considered to be at low risk for ischaemic stroke, and oral anticoagulation therapy is not indicated.