5 years ago

Changes in Use of Anticoagulation in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation Within a Primary Care Network Associated With the Introduction of Direct Oral Anticoagulants

Atrial fibrillation (AF) and the decision to anticoagulate is a common problem faced by primary care physicians. Oral anticoagulation (OAC) is underused, despite its clear benefits with regard to stroke prevention. We examined OAC usage between 2010 and 2015, following the introduction of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) and specifically assessed whether more patients were anticoagulated over time. The study cohort included adult patients aged 18 and older with AF cared for in an 18-practice primary care network between 2010 and 2015. AF status was assigned each calendar year using a validated electronic health record algorithm. We examined OAC usage over time in all patients with AF, and in patients at high risk of stroke (CHA2DS2-VASc ≥ 2). The proportion of the population with AF increased over time (2010: 4,920 patients [3.5%], 2015: 6,452 patients [4.0%]). There was no increase in the proportion of patients prescribed any OAC treatment from 2010 (57.0%) to 2015 (57.4%) (p = 0.41). Similarly, in patients at high risk of stroke, the proportion anticoagulated did not increase over time (2010: 61.1%, 2015: 61.7%, p = 0.51). Over the study period, DOAC usage increased from 0.31% of all patients with AF in 2010 to 18.3% in 2015 (p < 0.001). Patients prescribed DOACs were younger, with lower risk of stroke. In conclusion, this study showed an increasing proportion of patients with AF over time in a primary care network. The use of DOACs increased over time; however, the proportion of patients treated with OAC did not increase over time.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0002914917309566

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