News in brief: Blood donors show willing on biobank research; DOACs less likely than warfarin to cause AKI ; Anticoagulants are killing off owls

Blood donors show willing on biobank research

Blood donors show a high degree of willingness to participate in research including use of their data and providing blood sample for genomic testing, a study by Australian Red Cross Lifeblood has found.

A 2017 research willingness survey of more than 2000 blood donors using different channels elicited positive responses from between 77% (in centre recruitment) to 24% (email) of donors.

Almost all (96%) of respondents said they would be willing to provide a blood sample for donation and transfusion-related research and more than 90% were willing for their sample to be used in research involving genetic testing and other health-related topics. Similarly more than 90% were willing to consent for linkage of their information to external health databases, according to findings published in Transfusion.

“The findings from this survey provide support for Lifeblood to embark on large-scale studies, including the establishment of associated biobanks aimed at improving the understanding of donor health and behaviour, transfusion risk, and various aspects of quality and safety of donated blood products,” the study authors said.

DOACs less likely than warfarin to cause AKI

The risk of acute kidney injury (AKI) in elderly people with atrial fibrillation (AF) is lower with a DOAC (dabigatran, rivaroxaban, or apixaban) compared with warfarin, a Canadian study shows.

A population-based cohort study of 20,683 outpatients with AF aged over 66 found that those who were newly prescribed a DOAC was associated with a significantly lower risk of AKI compared to warfarin (weighted Hazard Ratio 0.65 for dabigatran, 0.85 for rivaroxaban and 0.81 for apixaban).

The lower risk of AKI associated with DOACs was seen consistently across all levels of eGFR, according to findings published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

The risk of AKI was also found to be lower among users of all DOACs compared to warfarin users who had a percentage of INR measurements ≤56.1%.

Anticoagulants are killing off owls

Wildlife experts are concerned that Australia’s native owl population is being poisoned by anticoagulants in rat poisons being widely used by householders to try contain the recent mouse plague.

Zoologists are investigating reports that increasing numbers of Powerful Owls are dying from internal bleeding after preying on mice that have consumed rat poisons containing second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) such as brodifacoum, difenacoum and bromadiolone.

While banned by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) for agricultural use, the rodenticides are freely available for household use and there are fears that this has led the long-acting anticoagulants to enter the food chain, affecting species such as owls and eagles.

Birdlife Australia is calling on the APVMA to restrict use of SGARs to licensed pest controllers, according to a report by the ABC.






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