Introduction: Warfarin and non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) such as dabigatran are effective for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). However, few analyses have compared persistence rates of warfarin vs. dabigatran-treated patients.
Methods: The ORBIT-AF registry enrolled patients with AF from 173 clinical practices across the US. One-year persistence of warfarin vs. dabigatran was defined as treatment at baseline visit and at 1-year follow-up. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to identify characteristics associated with warfarin or NOAC persistent use.
Results: At baseline, 6.4% (N=459/7,150) were treated with dabigatran and 93.6% (N=6,691/7,150) with warfarin. Patients treated with warfarin at baseline were older (74 vs. 71, p<.0001), had more NYHA class III/IV heart failure (7 vs. 5, p=.0007), lower creatinine clearance (77 vs. 88, p<.0001), higher CHA2DS2-VASc risk scores, and more prior CVA/TIA events (16 vs. 11, p=.003). Patients treated with dabigatran had more severe symptoms (EHRA class III: 20 vs. 14, p<.0001), higher rates of treatment with a rhythm control strategy (42.7 vs. 28.2, p<.0001), more attempts at cardioversion (38.3 vs. 32.1, p<.006), and catheter ablation of AF (9.8 vs. 5.2, p<.0001). At 12 months, adjusted persistence rates for warfarin were higher than dabigatran [82% (80-84) vs. 67% (61-73) p<.0001]. Factors independently associated with one year persistence were: African American race (OR 1.53, 95% C.I. 1.07-2.19, p=0.02), Hispanic race (OR 1.66, 95% C.I. 1.06-2.60), paroxysmal AF (vs. new onset) (OR 1.68, 95% C.I. 1.21-2.33, p=.002), LVH (OR 1.40, 95% C.I. 1.08-1.81, p=.01), persistent AF (vs. new onset) (OR 1.91, 95% C.I. 1.35-2.69, p=.0002), and CHA2DS2-VASc risk scores ≥ 2 (OR 1.94, 95% C.I. 1.18-3.19, p=.009).
Conclusion: Persistence rates for warfarin were higher at one year than those on dabigatran. In addition, factors associated with persistence of warfarin include: African American and Hispanic race, type of AF including permanent and persistent, LVH, and CHA2DS2-VASc risk scores ≥ 2.