Timothy S. Paul
Neither aspirin nor warfarin is superior for preventing a combined risk of death, stroke, and cerebral hemorrhage in heart failure patients with normal heart rhythm, according to a landmark clinical trial published in the May 3, 2012, New England Journal of Medicine.
The 10-year Warfarin and Aspirin for Reduced Cardiac Ejection Fraction (WARCEF) trial is the largest double-blind comparison of these medications for heart failure, following 2,305 patients at 168 study sites in 11 countries on three continents. The research was led by clinical principal investigator Shunichi Homma, MD, of Columbia University Medical Center/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and statistical principal investigator John L.P. (Seamus) Thompson, PhD, of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, and supported by the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH/NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health.
In the head-to-head comparison, the combined risk of death, stroke, and cerebral hemorrhage was 7.47% per year for patients taking the blood-thinner warfarin, also known by its brand name Coumadin, and 7.93% per year for tho