The drug warfarin was underutilized in a large study group of women, Dr. Rabab Mohsin, an internal medicine resident at the University of Kentucky, working with Dr. Alison Bailey of the University of Kentucky Gill Heart Institute, has discovered.
Working in conjunction with the Kentucky Women's Health Registry, Mohsin, Bailey and fellow investigators identified women who reported arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) identification and treatment. Specifically, the investigators worked to determine whether prescription warfarin (an anti-coagulant known as a safe and effective treatment for atrial fibrillation) was being appropriately utilized among a population of Kentucky women with self-reported atrial fibrillation.
Survey data revealed that among the group of women who would be expected to be receiving warfarin, only 30 percent were receiving the drug. Notably, the research population was found to have a higher than average level of income and education as compared to other Kentucky women in their age group. Statistical analysis also revealed that older women were more likely to be taking warfarin (a mean age of 73.4 years was found for those with atrial fibrillation who were on warfarin, while the population with atrial fibrillation but without warfarin treatment had a mean age of 61.8).
Overall, Mohsin, Bailey and fellow investigators concluded that warfarin anticoagulation treatment for atrial fibrillation is underutilized in the group of Kentucky women studied, and that this underutilization is not attributable to economic or educational disparities.