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Antithrombotic therapies for elderly patients: handling problems originating from their comorbidities

Authors Arahata M, Asakura H

Received 22 May 2018

Accepted for publication 17 July 2018

Published 11 September 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 1675—1690

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S174896

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Justinn Cochran

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker


Masahisa Arahata, Hidesaku Asakura

Department of Hematology, Graduate School of Medicine of Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan

Abstract: Compared with younger people, elderly people have higher risks for both thrombosis and bleeding. Furthermore, comorbidities frequently found in elderly patients complicate the management of antithrombotic therapy. Thus, when treating these patients, physicians often find it difficult to incorporate the principles of evidence-based medicine and must determine the best treatment option for each patient. Recently, in the fields of cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases, researchers have been rapidly accumulating new data regarding antithrombotic therapy, particularly in the areas of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) and dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT). However, information related to elderly patients receiving antithrombotic therapy is still relatively limited. There are also more and more publications describing how antithrombotic therapy affects the pathogenesis of non-thrombotic diseases. Similarly, the number of reports concerning adherence to this therapy has been increasing lately. However, no review articles detailing these findings have yet been published. In actual clinical practice, antithrombotic therapy in the elderly is not a treatment strategy targeted to only one organ or disease. Rather, it requires an interdisciplinary approach aimed at maintaining the overall health of the patient. Thus, to assist physicians’ decision-making processes for elderly patients, an overview of recent findings related to the evidence regarding concomitant medications, the secondary benefits of antithrombotic therapy for patients with comorbidities, and evidence regarding medication adherence is provided.

Keywords: antithrombotic therapy, dual antiplatelet therapy, direct oral anticoagulants, elderly patients with comorbidities, medication adherence

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