Why Did All Patients with Atrial Fibrillation and High Risk of Stroke Not Receive Oral Anticoagulants? Results of the Polish Atrial Fibrillation (POL-AF) Registry

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J Clin Med. 2021 Oct 8;10(19):4611. doi: 10.3390/jcm10194611.


BACKGROUND: Most atrial fibrillation (AF) patients are at high risk of thromboembolic, and the use of oral anticoagulants (OACs) is advised in such cases. The aim of the study was to evaluate the frequency at which OACs were used in patients with AF and high risk thromboembolic complications, and identify factors that result in OACs not being used in the researched group of patients.

METHODS: The prospective, multicenter and non-interventional POL-AF registry is a study that includes AF patients from ten Polish cardiology centers. They were consecutively hospitalized between January and December of 2019. All the patients in the study were of high stroke risk.

RESULTS: A total of 3614 patients with AF and high stroke risk were included. Among the total study population, 91.5% received OAC therapy; antiplatelet therapy was prescribed for 3.7% of patients, heparin for 2.7%, and 2.1% of patients did not receive any stroke prevention therapy. Independent predictors of no OAC prescription were intracranial bleeding (OR 0.15, 95%CI 0.07-0.35, p < 0.001), gastrointestinal bleeding (OR 0.25, 95%CI 0.17-0.37, p < 0.001), cancer (OR 0.37, 95%CI 0.25-0.55, p < 0.001), hospitalization due to acute coronary syndrome (OR 0.48, 95%CI 0.33-0.69, p < 0.001), and anemia (OR 0.62, 95%CI 0.48-0.81, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Most AF patients with a high thromboembolic risk received OACs. The factors predisposing a lack of OAC use in these patients were conditions that significantly increased the risk of bleeding complications.

PMID:34640629 | DOI:10.3390/jcm10194611