Vol 28, No 6 (2021)
Original Article
Published online: 2019-07-08

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Non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants in patients with atrial fibrillation in secondary stroke and systemic embolism prevention

Iwona Gorczyca12, Anna Michalska2, Magdalena Chrapek3, Olga Jelonek1, Paweł Wałek1, Beata Wożakowska-Kapłon12
Pubmed: 31313276
Cardiol J 2021;28(6):896-904.

Abstract

Background: Oral anticoagulants (OAC) are recommended in all patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) after thromboembolic events without contraindications. It is hypothesized herein, that the majority of patients with AF after thromboembolic events receive OAC and the presence of specific factors, predisposes the use of non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs).
Methods: This is a retrospective study, encompassing patients with AF hospitalized in a reference cardiology center over the years 2014–2017. Thromboembolic events were defined as: ischemic stroke, transient ischemic attack and systemic embolism. Inclusion criteria were the following: diagnosis of non-valvular AF at discharge from hospital, hospitalization not resulting in death.
Results: Among 2834 hospitalized patients with AF, a history of thromboembolic events was identified in 347 (12.2%) patients. In the group studied, of 347 patients with AF after a thromboembolic event, 322 (92.8%) received OAC, including 133 patients on vitamin K antagonist (41.3% of patients on OAC) and 189 patients on NOACs (58.7% of patients on OAC). Among patients treated with NOACs the majority were on dabigatran (116 patients, 61.4%), followed by rivaroxaban (54 patients, 28.6%), and apixaban (19 patients, 10%). Multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated that the presence of arterial hypertension reduced the chance for NOACs use (odds ratio [OR] 0.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.2–0.9, p = 0.04) and left atrial size ≤ 40 mm was a factor increasing the chance for the use of NOACs (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.1–5.8, p = 0.03).
Conclusions: Nearly all hospitalized patients with AF received OAC in the secondary prevention of thromboembolic complications. NOACs were used for secondary prevention of stroke among patients with AF in patients with fewer comorbidities.

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