Authors: Amin A, Garcia Reeves AB, Li X, Dhamane A, Luo X, Di Fusco M, Nadkarni A, Friend K, Rosenblatt L, Mardekian J, Pan X, Yuce H, Keshishian A

Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are at least as efficacious and safe as warfarin among non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) patients; limited evidence is available regarding NVAF patients with heart failure (HF). US Medicare enrollees with NVAF and HF initiating DOACs (apixaban, rivaroxaban, dabigatran) or warfarin were selected. Propensity score matching and Cox models were used to estimate the risk of stroke/systemic embolism (SE), major bleeding (MB), and major adverse cardiac events (MACE) comparing DOACs versus warfarin and DOACs versus DOACs. We identified 10,570 apixaban-warfarin, 4,297 dabigatran-warfarin, 15,712 rivaroxaban-warfarin, 4,263 apixaban-dabigatran, 10,477 apixaban-rivaroxaban, and 4,297 dabigatran-rivaroxaban matched pairs. Compared to warfarin, apixaban had lower rates of stroke/SE (hazard ratio = 0.64, 95% confidence interval = 0.48-0.85), MB (hazard ratio = 0.66, 0.58-0.76), and MACE (hazard ratio = 0.73,0.67-0.79); dabigatran and rivaroxaban had lower rates of MACE (hazard ratio = 0.87,0.77-0.99; hazard ratio = 0.84, 0.79-0.89, respectively). Rivaroxaban had a lower stroke/SE rate (hazard ratio = 0.65, 0.52-0.81) and higher MB rate (hazard ratio = 1.18, 1.08-1.30) versus warfarin. Compared to dabigatran and rivaroxaban, apixaban had lower MB (hazard ratio = 0.71, 0.57-0.89; hazard ratio = 0.55, 0.49-0.63) and MACE rates (hazard ratio = 0.80, 0.69-0.93; hazard ratio = 0.86, 0.79-0.94), respectively. All DOACs had lower MACE rates versus warfarin; differences were observed in stroke/SE and MB. Our findings provide insights about OAC therapy among NVAF patients with HF.

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