(HealthDay News) — For elderly patients on anticoagulant therapy, a high level of physical activity is associated with a decreased risk of major bleeding, according to a study published online November 18 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.
Pascal M. Frey, MD, from Bern University Hospital in Switzerland, and colleagues assessed self-reported physical activity level in 988 patients aged ≥65 years receiving anticoagulants for venous thromboembolism. Patients were prospectively evaluated for first major bleeding (including fatal bleeding, symptomatic bleeding in a critical site, or bleeding causing a fall in hemoglobin or leading to transfusions).
The researchers found that over a mean follow-up of 22 months, patients with a low, moderate, and high physical activity level had an incidence of major bleeding of 11.6, 6.3, and 3.1 events per 100 patient-years, respectively. The corresponding incidences of clinically relevant non-major bleeding were 14.0, 10.3, and 7.7 events per 100 patient-years. There was a significantly lower risk of major bleeding associated with a high physical activity level (adjusted sub-hazard ratio 0.40). For non-major bleeding, there was no association with physical activity.
“A high level of physical activity is associated with a decreased risk of major bleeding in elderly patients receiving anticoagulant therapy,” the authors write.
One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.