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Keywords:

  • anticoagulants;
  • genetics;
  • haemorrhage

Summary

The VKORC1 c.−1639G>A and CYP2C9 c.430C>T and c.1075A>C polymorphisms have been associated with increased sensitivity to oral anticoagulants. However, their role in gastrointestinal bleeding is unknown. We studied the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding associated with these polymorphisms, and how this risk was influenced by the anticoagulant dose and the use of common drugs. Eighty-nine patients with gastrointestinal bleeding during acenocoumarol therapy and 177 patients free of bleeding during acenocoumarol therapy were studied. None of the three polymorphisms constituted a serious gastrointestinal bleeding risk factor. However, patients bearing at least one of these polymorphisms were at high risk, when they simultaneously met one of the following conditions: a weekly dose of acenocoumarol higher than 15 mg [adjusted Odds Ratio (OR) (95% confidence interval (CI) = 4·19 (1·59–11·04)]; amiodarone use [adjusted OR (95% CI) = 9·97 (1·75–56·89)]; or aspirin use [adjusted OR (95% CI) = 8·97 (1·66–48·34)]. The consumption of statins was associated with a lower risk of gastrointestinal bleeding [adjusted OR = 0·50 (0·26–0·99)]. The risk of gastrointestinal bleeding during acenocoumarol therapy in carriers of any of the studied polymorphisms is severely increased with exposure to weekly doses of acenocoumarol higher than 15 mg or the use of amiodarone or aspirin.