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A. Good News For A Popular Blood Thinner

Narrator: This is Science Today. A new study found that warfarin, a popular blood thinner, does not weaken the bones of older patients, as once suspected. Dr. Steven Cummings, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco says researchers were concerned about warfarin because it suppresses the production of vitamin K.

Cummings: Vitamin K, we know now to be a very important vitamin for the development and maintenance of bone. So there's been concern that men and women who take warfarin might have weaker bones because their body was deprived of vitamin K.

Narrator: Cummings says their study differed from others, since it tracked women for two years - not just a single point in time

Cummings: We also looked at the rates of change in their bone and were able to compare it to a group of six thousand women who were not taking the medication. We found that women who were taking warfarin were no more likely to develop fractures and the rate of change in their bone was just the same as for women who were not taking warfarin.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.