PURPOSE: We investigated the prevalence of use of anticoagulant therapy in elderly hospitalized patients at increased risk for systemic embolism or venous thromboembolism (VTE) with no contraindications to anticoagulants.
METHODS: Charts were reviewed of unselected patients aged 65 years and older hospitalized at Westchester Medical Center/New York Medical College during 2006. The charts were reviewed for increased risk of systemic embolism and VTE, absence of contraindications to use of anticoagulant therapy in these patients, use of anticoagulants in these patients as recommended by evidence-based guidelines, and the different anticoagulants used. The 502 patients in this study included 291 men and 211 women, mean age 77 ± 7 years (range 65 –98 years).
RESULTS: Anticoagulants were used to treat 479 of 502 hospitalized patients (95%) at increased risk for systemic embolism or VTE. Of the 479 patients treated with anticoagulants, 317 (66%) were treated with unfractionated heparin, 203 (42%) with warfarin, 81 (17%) with low molecular weight heparin, 2 (<1%) with fondaparinux, and 2 (<1%) with argatroban.
CONCLUSION: These data show that appropriate use of anticoagulant therapy for prevention of systemic embolism or VTE in hospitalized elderly patients can be achieved in the vast majority of patients in a university hospital.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Appropriate use of anticoagulant therapy for prevention of systemic embolism or VTE in hospitalized elderly patients can be achieved in the vast majority of patients in a university hospital.
DISCLOSURE: Hoang Lai, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information