Anticoagulants such as Bristol-Myers Squibb's Coumadin thin the blood and help keep clots from forming, cutting the risks of heart attacks and strokes caused by arterial blockages. Elderly patients who use these blood thinners, however, face a greater risk of major bleeding and blood clots, according to a European study in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The researchers suggested older patients using blood thinners may need more frequent monitoring by physicians to try to find a balance.

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