Safety of Antithrombotic Agents in Elderly Patients with Acute Coronary Syndromes

Bianca Rocca, Steen Husted

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Treatment and prevention of acute coronary syndromes (ACS) with antithrombotics in elderly patients face unique challenges: elderly patients usually require multiple drugs due to comorbidities, are highly susceptible to adverse drug reactions and drug-drug interactions, may have cognitive problems affecting compliance and complications, are specially exposed to the risk of falls, and, most importantly, ageing is an independent risk factor for bleeding. Antithrombotic drugs, alone or in association, further and variously amplify age-related bleeding risk. Moreover, age-related changes in primary haemostasis may potentially affect the pharmacodynamics of some antiplatelet drugs. Thus, elderly subjects might be more or less sensitive to standard antiplatelet regimens depending on individual characteristics affecting antiplatelet drug response. Importantly, elderly patients are a rapidly-growing population world-wide, have the highest incidence of ACS but are poorly represented in clinical trials. As a consequence, evidence on antithrombotic drug benefits and risks is limited. Thus, in the real-world setting, older people are often denied antithrombotic drugs because of unjustified concerns, or might be over-treated and exposed to excessive bleeding risk. Personalized antithrombotic therapy in elderly patients is particularly critical, to minimize risks without affecting efficacy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-248
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • antiplatelet drugs
  • elderly


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