Intern Med. 2021;60(4):495-506. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.6077-20. Epub 2021 Feb 15.
The prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF) increases with age, as does the proportion of patients with frailty. AF patients with frailty have a higher risk of stroke than those without frailty, and progressive frailty caused by stroke is also associated with a worse prognosis. Despite this, anticoagulant therapy tends to not be used in frail patients because of the risk of falls and bleeding complications. However, some studies have shown that anticoagulant therapy improves the prognosis in patients with frailty. An accurate assessment of the "net-clinical-benefits" is needed in patients with frailty, with the aim of improving the prognoses of patients with frailty by selecting those who will benefit from anticoagulant therapy and actively reducing the risk of bleeding. A comprehensive intervention that includes a team of doctors and social resources is required. We herein review the effectiveness and bleeding risk associated with anticoagulant therapy in frail patients investigated in clinical studies.