Women in France diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AF) are significantly less likely than men to receive active treatment from their GP, according to research presented at the 2013 annual congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

The analysis of more than 15,000 patients showed that women were undertreated with antithrombotic medications compared to men, regardless of their stroke risk and comorbidities. The study, presented by Dr Pierre Sabouret, explored a national patient Experts call for better tools to assess obesity French data shows AF is ‘undertreated’ by GPs database to identify potential factors in the choice of prescription for AF.

After excluding patients ineligible for anticoagulation, the researchers found that women were significantly less treated than men. Just 48.1% of women received vitamin K antagonist (VKA) therapy, compared with 52.6% men, while 30.5% (vs. 25.4% men) received no prevention at all. The differences were highly signicant (p<0.0001). Dr Sabouret called for GPs and cardiologists to work together to optimise treatment for women with AF.