This study evaluated the comparative effectiveness of vitamin K antagonists (VKAs), direct thrombin inhibitors (DTIs) and factor Xa inhibitors (FXaI) in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) at risk of stroke in everyday practice.Data from patients with AF and Congestive heart failure, Hypertension, Age 75 years, Diabetes mellitus, prior Stroke, TIA, or thromboembolism, Vascular disease, Age 65-74 years, Sex category (CHA2DS2-VASc) score ≥2 (excluding gender) in the Global Anticoagulant Registry in the FIELD-Atrial Fibrillation registry were analysed using an improved method of propensity weighting, overlap weights and Cox proportional hazards models.All-cause mortality, non-haemorrhagic stroke/systemic embolism (SE) and major bleeding over 2 years were compared in 25 551 patients, 7162 (28.0%) not treated with oral anticoagulant (OAC) and 18 389 (72.0%) treated with OAC (FXaI (41.8%), DTI (11.4%) and VKA (46.8%)). OAC treatment compared with no OAC treatment was associated with decreased risk of all-cause mortality (HR 0.82 (95% CI 0.74 to 0.91)) and non-haemorrhagic stroke/SE (HR 0.71 (95% CI 0.57 to 0.88)) but increased risk of major bleeding (HR 1.46 (95% CI 1.15 to 1.86)). Non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant (NOAC) use compared with no OAC treatment was associated with lower risks of all-cause mortality and non-haemorrhagic stroke/SE (HR 0.67 (95% CI 0.59 to 0.77)) and 0.65 (95% CI 0.50 to 0.86)) respectively, with no increase in major bleeding (HR 1.10 (95% CI 0.82 to 1.47)). NOAC use compared with VKA use was associated with lower risk of all-cause mortality and major bleeding (rates/100 patient-years 3.6 (95% CI 3.3 to 3.9) vs 4.8 (95% CI 4.5 to 5.2) and 1.0 (95% CI 0.9 to 1.1) vs 1.4 (95% CI 1.2 to 1.6); HR 0.79 (95% CI 0.70 to 0.89) and 0.77 (95% CI 0.61 to 0.98) respectively), with similar risk of non-haemorrhagic stroke/SE (rates/100 patient-years 0.8 (95% CI 0.7 to 0.9) versus 1.0 (95% CI 0.8 to 1.1); HR 0.96 (95% CI 0.73 to 1.25).Important benefits in terms of mortality and major bleeding were observed with NOAC versus VKA with no difference among NOAC subtypes.NCT01090362.
A John Camm, Keith A A Fox, Saverio Virdone, Jean-Pierre Bassand, David A Fitzmaurice, Samuel I Berchuck, Bernard J Gersh, Samuel Z Goldhaber, Shinya Goto, Sylvia Haas, Frank Misselwitz, Karen S Pieper, Alexander G G Turpie, Freek W A Verheugt, Riccardo Cappato, Ajay K Kakkar, GARFIELD-AF investigators