Aims: To examine if appropriate antithrombotic therapy in atrial fibrillation is implemented nationally.
Methods: Using prescriptions for digoxin as a surrogate for atrial fibrillation, we identified its coprescription with antithrombotic therapy, aspirin or warfarin in a national prescribing database in 27 571 patients over 45 years old.
Results: Proportionately significantly more men were on warfarin, and use in those >75 years old was three times less than in those <65 years. Reluctance to use antithrombotics was confirmed in a postal survey.
Conclusion: Data suggest a missed opportunity to prevent stroke with women and those >75 years old least likely to receive warfarin.