The prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common cardiac arrhythmia, increases with age, predisposing elderly patients to an increased risk of embolic stroke. With an increasingly aged population the number of people who experience a stroke every year, overall global burden of stroke, and numbers of stroke survivors and related deaths continue to increase. Anticoagulation with vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) reduces the risk of ischemic stroke in patients with AF; however, increased bleeding risk is well documented, particularly in the elderly.

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