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Hernández Madrid, Antonio; Potpara, Tatjana S.; Dagres, Nikolaos; Chen, Jian; Larsen, Torben B.; Estner, Heidi; Todd, Derick; Bongiorni, Maria G.; Sciaraffia, Elena; Proclemer, Alessandro; Cheggour, Saida; Amara, Walid; Blomstrom-Lundqvist, Carina (2016): Differences in attitude, education, and knowledge about oral anticoagulation therapy among patients with atrial fibrillation in Europe: result of a self-assessment patient survey conducted by the European Heart Rhythm Association. In: Europace, Vol. 18, No. 3: pp. 463-467
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The purpose of this patient survey was to analyse the knowledge about blood thinning medications relative to gender, age, education, and region of residence in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). A total of 1147 patients with AF [mean age 66 +/- 13 years, 529 (45%) women] from eight European countries responded to this survey. Most patients understood that the indication for anticoagulation therapy was to 'thin the blood', but 8.1% responded that the purpose of the medication was to treat the arrhythmia. Patients with college or university grades reported less frequent deviations from their target INR range compared with those without schooling (2.8% vs. 5.1%, P < 0.05). The awareness of anticoagulation-related risk of bleedings was lowest in patients without schooling (38.5%) and highest in those with college and university education (57.0%), P < 0.05. The same pattern was also observed regarding patient's awareness of non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs): 56.5% of the patients with university education and only 20.5% of those without schooling (P < 0.05) knew about NOACs, indicating that information about new anticoagulation therapies remains well below the target. Bleeding events were statistically less frequent in patients on NOACs compared with vitamin K antagonists. The education level and patients' knowledge have a direct influence on the global management of the anticoagulation.