Purpose. - Atrial fibrillation and venous thromboembolism are particularly frequent in the elderly. Whether or not prescribe oral anticoagulant treatment in the elderly is therefore a common question for the physician. Despite the benefits of anticoagulation demonstrated in clinical trials, oral anticoagulant therapy is underused in the elderly. Current knowledge and key points. - Indications for oral anticoagulation are discussed specifically in the elderly with a literature review. Only the length of anticoagulation treatment after a venous thromboembolism remained a purpose of discussion regarding the severity of the pathology. The frequency of systemic thromboembolism in nonvalvular atrial fibrillation is increasing with age. Oral anticoagulation reduces this risk. This benefice is to compare with the increasing rate of major bleeding complications in the elderly and in patient who had stroke, hyper-tension, diabetes mellitus or gastrointestinal bleeding. The objective of this article is to focus on the mode to measure oral anticoagulant benefice/risk ratio in the elderly and to propose several ways to minimize the risk for bleeding. Future prospects andprojects. - The potential drug side effect severity of oral anticoagulation must lead to find the "reasonable" clinical indications in term of benefice/risk ratio and what measures should be take to increase the safety of oral anticoagulation in the elderly. The comprehensive geriatric evaluation should be considered as a decision-aid tool in long-term oral anticoagulation in the frail elderly. Anticoagulation clinics, informatics'-prescription coupled with dose-adaptation decision-aid adapted to the elderly should be helpful in this research of quality. Finally, prescribers education supports must insist on the early course of therapy that is at higher risk of bleeding. © 2003 Éditions scientifiques et médicales Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.
Debray, M., Pautas, E., Couturier, P., Franco, A., & Siguret, V. (2003, February 1). Oral anticoagulants in the elderly. Revue de Medecine Interne. Elsevier Masson SAS. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0248-8663(02)00020-6