Warfarin treatment and risk of stroke among primary care patients with atrial fibrillation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective. Our aim was to study the risk of a first ischaemic stroke (IS) in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) treated in primary healthcare. Design. The study population included all adults (n = 11,517), 45 years and older diagnosed with AF, from 75 primary care centres in Sweden between 2001 and 2007. IS was defined as a hospital care event of stroke between 2001 and 2010. Association between incident stroke and warfarin treatment was explored using Cox regression analysis, with hazard ratios (HRs), and 95% confidence intervals (95%CIs). Adjustment was made for age, socioeconomic factors and co-morbidity. Results. Persistent treatment with warfarin was present among 33.7% of women and 40.0% among men. Persistent warfarin treatment, compared to no persistent treatment, was associated with a stroke preventing effect with fully adjusted HRs of 0.25 (95%CI 0. 0.26–0.45) in women, and 0.25 (95%CI 0.28–0.43) in men. A CHA2DS2-VASc score of at least two among women, and three among men, was associated with a stroke risk exceeding 18% during a mean follow-up of 5.4 years. Risk of haemorrhagic stroke was not increased. Conclusions. Warfarin is effective in preventing stroke in AF patients in primary healthcare.


External organisations
  • Karolinska Institutet
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Neurology


  • anticoagulant, Atrial fibrillation, co-morbidity, follow-up, gender, ischaemic stroke
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-316
Number of pages6
JournalScandinavian Cardiovascular Journal
Issue number5-6
Early online date2016 Aug 18
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication categoryResearch