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Hernandez I, Gabriel N, He M, Guo J, Tadrous M, Suda KJ, Magnani JW. Effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on adversity in individuals receiving anticoagulation for atrial fibrillation: A nationally representative administrative health claims analysis. American heart journal plus : cardiology research and practice. 2022 Feb 4; 13:100096.
Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is strongly associated with clinical adversity, including increased hospitalization and bleeding and stroke events. We examined the effect of the SARS-2 Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on such events in individuals with AF receiving oral anticoagulation. Methods: We employed medical and pharmacy claims spanning 2018-2020 from a nationally representative U.S. database (IQVIA Longitudinal Prescription, Medical Claims, and Institutional Claims). We selected individuals receiving oral anticoagulation in 2018 for AF and followed them from 1/1/2019-7/8/2020 for clinical events. We constructed interrupted time-series analyses across 30-day intervals with Poisson regression models to determine the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on clinical events. Results: The dataset included 1,439,145 individuals (half with age = 75 years; 47.6% women) receiving oral anticoagulation. We determined a 19% decrease in emergency room visits following the pandemic declaration and 8% decrease in inpatient admissions. In contrast admissions for stroke and bleeding were not affected by the declaration of the pandemic. Discussion: These results describe the temporal effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on clinical adversity - hospitalizations, strokes, and bleeding events - in individuals receiving oral anticoagulation for AF. Our analysis quantifies the decrease in clinical adversity accompanying COVID-19 in a large, highly representative U.S. health claims database.