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Each year around 75,000 Americans are diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AF), 900,000 experience a venous thromboembolism event (VTE), and 800,000 have a stroke. The burden for those who survive is enormous and the cost of care a major expense for individuals and the nation. Fortunately research advances are offering significant hope. A number of investigative anticoagulants have the potential to reduce strokes in AF patients while also reducing the risk of bleeds; clot-dissolving agents are proving to lessen the effects of strokes; and the same drugs in the pipeline for AF could prevent VTE after major orthopedic surgery.
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