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06.05.2016 | Original Research Article | Ausgabe 6/2016

Drugs & Aging 6/2016

A Comparison of Oral Anticoagulant Use for Atrial Fibrillation in the Pre- and Post-DOAC Eras

Drugs & Aging > Ausgabe 6/2016
Joshua D. Brown, Anand R. Shewale, Parinita Dherange, Jeffery C. Talbert



Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) have seen rapid uptake for the prevention of stroke associated with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF). It is unclear whether use of DOACs represents direct therapeutic substitution over warfarin or if this coincides with an increase in overall treatment rates. This study sought to describe the difference in oral anticoagulant (OAC) use in the pre-DOAC and post-DOAC eras.


Incident cases of NVAF were identified from the Truven Marketscan database during the years 2005–2009 (‘pre-DOAC’) and 2013 (‘post-DOAC’). Demographic and clinical characteristics were compared for the overall cohorts and among those who did and did not receive OAC in both time periods. OAC treatment was observed by stroke (CHA2DS2-VASc) and bleed risk (HAS-BLED) scores. Logistic regression was used to compare the individual characteristics associated with OAC use between the study periods.


During the pre- and post-DOAC eras, 105,610 and 11,992 NVAF patients were identified. OAC treatment increased from 42.2 to 54.0 % (absolute change 11.8 %, relative change 28.0 %) from the pre- to post-DOAC periods without meaningful differences between the populations. Larger relative increases in OAC treatment were observed for those at high risk of stroke (33.9 % increase) and for those with moderate (30.4 % increase) to high risk (28.6 % increase) of bleed. Other than time period of diagnosis, no patient characteristics differed between those treated with OACs in the pre and post periods.


There has been an overall increase in OAC use in the NVAF population, attributable to both favorable randomized trial results and aggressive marketing of DOACs in the USA.

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