Hirosaki, Japan – Blood thinners (anticoagulants) are crucial in preventing strokes among patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) but are associated with increased risk of bleeding. As described in the article, “Comparing Patient and Physician Risk Tolerance for Bleeding Events Associated with Anticoagulants in Atrial Fibrillation – Evidence from the United States and Japan,“ published in Value in Health Regional Issues Volume 6 focusing on Asia, recent studies have shown that a substantial proportion of AF patients receive lower levels of anticoagulation than necessary because of concerns about bleeding.
To explore the hypothesis, patients’ and physicians’ preferences in benefits and risks associated with anticoagulants were elicited using a discrete choice experiment in the U.S. and Japan. U.S. patients and physicians were willing to accept similar levels of non-major clinically relevant bleeding risks when they were consequences of preventing disabling strokes. In contrast, Japanese patients were willing to accept four times the level of such risk than Japanese physicians as a consequence of preventing disabling strokes.