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© Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted. Objective To investigate evolving patterns in antithrombotic treatment in UK patients with newly diagnosed non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF). Design Prospective, multicentre, international registry. Setting 186 primary care practices in the UK. Participants 3482 participants prospectively enrolled in four sequential cohorts (cohort 2 (C2) n=830, diagnosed September 2011 to April 2013; cohort 3 (C3) n=902, diagnosed April 2013 to June 2014; cohort 4 (C4) n=850, diagnosed July 2014 to June 2015; cohort 5 (C5) n=900, diagnosed June 2015 to July 2016). Participants had newly diagnosed non-valvular AF and at least one risk factor for stroke, were aged ≥18, and provided informed consent. Main outcome measures Antithrombotic treatment initiated at diagnosis, overall and according to stroke and bleeding risks. Stroke risk was retrospectively calculated using CHA 2 DS 2 -VASc (cardiac failure, hypertension, age ≥75 (doubled), diabetes, stroke (doubled)-vascular disease, age 65-74 and sex category (female)) and bleeding risk using HAS-BLED (hypertension, abnormal renal/liver function (1 point each), stroke, bleeding history or predisposition, elderly (>65), drugs/alcohol concomitantly (1 point each)). Results 42.7% were women and the mean age was 74.5 years. The median CHA 2 DS 2 -VASc score was 3 in all cohorts and the median HAS-BLED score was 2 in all cohorts. There was a statistically significant increase in the use of anticoagulant therapy from C2 to C5 (C2 54.7%, C3 60.3%, C4 73.1%, C5 73.9%; P value for trend <0.0001). The increase in the use of anticoagulant was mainly in patients with CHA 2 DS 2 -VASc ≥2. The use of vitamin K antagonists (VKAs)±antiplatelet (AP) drugs decreased from C2 to C5 (C2 53.3%, C3 52.1%, C4 50.3%, C5 30.6%), while the use of non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs)±AP increased (C2 1.3%, C3 8.0%, C4 22.7%, C5 43.3%). The use of AP only decreased (C2 36.4%, C3 25.5%, C4 11.9%, C5 10.5%), as did the combination therapy of VKA+AP (C2 13.6%, C3 11.0%, C4 9.6%, C5 5.8%). Conclusion There has been a progressive increase in the proportion of patients newly diagnosed with AF receiving guideline-recommended therapy in the UK, potentially driven by the availability of NOACs. Trial registration number NCT01090362; Pre-results.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open

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