Common blood thinning drug linked to dementia

Doctors have found that a common blood thinning medication has strong links to an increased risk of dementia among patients.

Doctors have found that a common blood thinning medication has strong links to an increased risk of dementia among patients.

The researchers conducted a seven-year experiment looking at 10,000 patients and found those who were taking the medication were more likely to develop the degenerative condition.

The study looked at patients who suffer from Atrial fibrillation (AF) – a common condition among many seniors where the heartbeat is irregular or abnormally fast.

AF can also cause shortness of breath, dizziness, and tiredness.

It is often treated with the blood thinning drug Warfarin, and it is this drug that doctors are concerned about.

Warfarin is prescribed to millions of patients to help manage AF.

However, the researchers say dementia was more prevalent in patients taking the drug for AF than those who were not – 5.8 percent compared with 1.6 percent, respectively.

The doctors conducted a study looking at 10,000 people to investigate links between warfarin, dementia, and AF.

After seven years of intense research they found the link between Warfarin and dementia were clear.

The study was conducted by Dr. T. Jared Bunch and a team of researchers at Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in the United States.

“Our study results are the first to show that there are significant cognitive risk factors for patients treated with Warfarin over a long period of time regardless of the indication for anticoagulation,” Dr Bunch said.

He says the study is important because so many people are currently taking warfarin without knowing the risks.

He is urging patients to talk to their doctor about their need for blood thinners and to only take them if absolutely necessary.

Do you take blood thinners? Do you worry about dementia as you age?

  1. Marilyn  

    I didn’t worry until reading this!!! Do what do I do ??? I’m at great risk of having a stroke if I don’t take blood thinners. I don’t take warfarin but apixaban. Does this come under the same threat???

    • Rod Long  

      I used Warferin for a few years till 2012,then changed to Xaralto . Does Xaralto have the same effect as Warferin . I am 80 years old .Thanking you Rod

      • Bob Kellett  

        ???!!!!!! I am on Xaralto also ….. and have never thought about side effects …. just trusted the Medico I guess …..
        Guess what our conversation will centre on next visit.

    • Joy Ware  

      Hi Marilyn, there are other drugs for blood thinning. My husband had a PE and is still at great risk, he was on Warfrin (Clexane) injections for 2 weeks. He is now on Xarelto (pronounced with a Z) tablets. See your doctor, have a discussion, there are many alternatives to Warfrin. The explanation given to us by our doctor was that Warfrin is very cheap and if a bleed starts one administration of .vitamin K will stop the bleed. But talk to your GP it is important to have a discussion and ask all the questions and get the answers to enable you to make a choice.

    • Nin  

      I remember hearing a television doctor say never to take fish oil capsules if you are taking blood thinning tablets. I am assuming that fish oil has a blooding thinning tendency.

  2. Flanjam  

    Well that’s me done! Been taking the rotten stuff every day for 23 years after a heart valve replacement. Dr’s are still changing the dose and continual INR (blood testing) has become very much a part of my life. Can’t wait to get rid of the rotten rat poison. Wish me luck!

  3. Lee Cleary  

    I have just recently been taken off Warfarin and put on Xeralto for AF. Will these newer blood thinners on the market also be found to cause dementia as well or haven’t they been tested yet?

    • Mrs Margo Gibbs  

      Google the side effects of the drug you are taking. The internet has a huge amount of information on all drugs.

  4. Thomasina  

    Well… another scare…take blood thinners after a heart attack… Its really worrying … seeing my Doc today !!

    • Sue McEvoy  

      I had open heart surgery as a child, now 69 and take Cartia (asprin) every day as it thins the blood, less toxic than warfarin I believe. Ask your GP☺

  5. margaret scott  

    Is that the only blood thinner?

    • Joy Bryson  

      I refused Warfarinas I didn’t like the thought of frequent blood tests.
      First I was put on Xaulto but thr wasn’t effective only AF so now on a much newer one Elequis it is much better and less risk. Ask your Dr about this one.
      I am under Vet Affairs and don’t know if this is generally available .No harm in asking

  6. Helen Cameron  

    Dont get too panicky. My father in law has been taking warfarin every day since he was 50 after he developed a clot post an operation and apart from not flyibg any longer due to trouble with a vein on a flight about 3 years ago, is as sharp as I am. He is now 91 (and yes I have 5 relatives in their 90s!) and is the best of them all. We gave him an iPad for his last birthday and he now takes photos and attaches them and sends them to us, emails us, and looks up recipes to cook his dinner on it. Last night he did an oxtail casserole with a recipe he found on the internet. He has recently discovered the fun of eBay and has sold a radio, a raincoat and a hornby train on it, creating great friends and wonderful writeups about his service which he is very pleased about! In addition, he is a very sociable person, and goes to snooker, attends the scientific group’s speaker talks, loves the movies especially the New York Opera performances and keeps in touch with all his grandchildren scattered all over the world. He is very interested in world events and is an avid newspaper reader and loves the Guardian. I think sometimes we all obsess too much about what can go wrong with us. The reality is over 7 out of 10 people do NOT have dementia to the extent that we are incapacitated. The thing I have learnt watching my father in law is to grab every day and enjoy it, and to go with the flow. He is a magnificent example of how to enjoy life in your 90s.

    • Jeannette  

      Fantastic. What an inspirational man.

    • Kevin Stent  

      Too many “Doctor Google’s” I think , Warfarin has been around for hundreds of years and it has saved more lives that it has caused premature deaths .
      I have a Artificial Aorta valve (ATS) and I have been on Warfarin now for 10 years , I test my own INR with my own Coaguchek machine and I have no side effects apart from the odd bruise .
      Too many Scaremongers on these sites , some of these people think that by taking Ginger will help them if they get A/Fib which a friend of mine has and does take Ginger (Old wives tales!)
      Do not take any of these new blood thinners like Pradaxa becuse if you get a bleed you can not stop the bleed . Get off Google and enjoy life , I am !

  7. Q. Chang  

    What was the incidence of dementia in people with compromised cerebral blood flow due to untreated atrial fibrillation? Can we please have the link to the published paper?

  8. Lillian Wallace  

    I have been taking Warfarin since 1993 after having Aorta valve replaced and the in 1998 My Mitral was replaced.I am really gettng tired of all of this rsearch BS.My mother lived to 87 and suffered Dementia for the last 7 years of her life.So am I a candidate for Dementia as well because of hereditry genetics,Theresearchers I feel spend a lot of time guessing and ponificating about their research

  9. Lorelle Major  

    My daughter, at age 43, had an artificial aortic valve replacement. She is on Warfarin for the rest of her life. I’m now very concerned for her after reading about this study, particularly as her paternal grandmother succumbed to Alzheimer’s dementia just a few years ago.

  10. Sue McEvoy  

    I take Cartia (asprin) every day, it is blood thinner to prevent a stroke after having open heart surgery as a 12 year old, speak to your doctor, maybe you don’t need warfarin now!

    • Mary-Ellen  

      I, too, take Cartia, as a preventative medication, as Type II Diabetic.

      • Fiona  

        I m on daily aspirin too, for heart valve prolapse (mild). Obviously there are options other than warfarin, Peace of mind is only questions away when you visit the doctors next🤒

  11. Hans  

    Thick blood is not caused by a lack of Warfarin. Dehydration causes blood to thicken. Drinking more (unchlorinated) water will be of benefit. Allergic responses to foods or drugs can also cause heaps of problems with the brain.
    Canadian Dr. Erwin Koranyi, reporting on this in the Archives of General Psychology in 1979, stated, “No single psychiatric symptom exists that cannot at times be caused or aggravated by various physical illnesses. Allergies causes a vast array of standard physical problems such as Lyme Disease, certain forms of epilepsy, diabetes, hepatitis, back problems, toxicity,and glandular malfunctions., yet it is the last thing the medical system will look for.
    Dr. William Philpott found that 92% of those with mental disorders reacted to one or more substances as follows: · Wheat – 64% · Mature corn – 51% · Pasteurized whole cow milk – 50% · Tobacco – 75% with 10% becoming grossly psychotic, with delusions, hallucinations, and, especially, paranoia · Hydrocarbons – 30%. Weakness was common. Some participants reacted with delusions or suicidal inclinations.

  12. Helen  

    I have been on Warfarin since 2003 after having a
    Mitral Valve replaced. Maybe I am at risk of Dementia but I was also at risk of dying if I didnt have the operation. Does one outway the other? Feel blessed to have had 13 extra years of great health and a complete lifestyle. I will continue to take Warfarin as I have no choice and are unable to take an alternative.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *