Outcomes Associated With Oral Anticoagulants Plus Antiplatelets in Patients With Newly Diagnosed Atrial Fibrillation
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Importance: Patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation at risk of stroke should receive oral anticoagulants (OAC). However, approximately 1 in 8 patients in the Global Anticoagulant Registry in the Field (GARFIELD-AF) registry are treated with antiplatelet (AP) drugs in addition to OAC, with or without documented vascular disease or other indications for AP therapy. Objective: To investigate baseline characteristics and outcomes of patients who were prescribed OAC plus AP therapy vs OAC alone. Design, Setting, and Participants: Prospective cohort study of the GARFIELD-AF registry, an international, multicenter, observational study of adults aged 18 years and older with recently diagnosed nonvalvular atrial fibrillation and at least 1 risk factor for stroke enrolled between March 2010 and August 2016. Data were extracted for analysis in October 2017 and analyzed from April 2018 to June 2019. Exposure: Participants received either OAC plus AP or OAC alone. Main Outcomes and Measures: Clinical outcomes were measured over 3 and 12 months. Outcomes were adjusted for 40 covariates, including baseline conditions and medications. Results: A total of 24 436 patients (13 438 [55.0%] male; median [interquartile range] age, 71 [64-78] years) were analyzed. Among eligible patients, those receiving OAC plus AP therapy had a greater prevalence of cardiovascular indications for AP, including acute coronary syndromes (22.0% vs 4.3%), coronary artery disease (39.1% vs 9.8%), and carotid occlusive disease (4.8% vs 2.0%). Over 1 year, patients treated with OAC plus AP had significantly higher incidence rates of stroke (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.49; 95% CI, 1.01-2.20) and any bleeding event (aHR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.17-1.70) than those treated with OAC alone. These patients did not show evidence of reduced all-cause mortality (aHR, 1.22; 95% CI, 0.98-1.51). Risk of acute coronary syndrome was not reduced in patients taking OAC plus AP compared with OAC alone (aHR, 1.16; 95% CI, 0.70-1.94). Patients treated with OAC plus AP also had higher rates of all clinical outcomes than those treated with OAC alone over the short term (3 months). Conclusions and Relevance: This study challenges the practice of coprescribing OAC plus AP unless there is a clear indication for adding AP to OAC therapy in newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation.
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