Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Differences in anticoagulant therapy prescription in patients with paroxysmal versus persistent atrial fibrillation.

Hsu JC, Chan PS, Tang F, Maddox TM, Marcus GM. Differences in anticoagulant therapy prescription in patients with paroxysmal versus persistent atrial fibrillation. The American journal of medicine. 2015 Jun 1; 128(6):654.e1-654.e10.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: Patients with paroxysmal and persistent atrial fibrillation experience a similar risk of thromboembolism. Therefore, consensus guidelines recommend anticoagulant therapy in those at risk for thromboembolism irrespective of atrial fibrillation classification. We sought to examine whether there are differences in rates of appropriate oral anticoagulant treatment among patients with paroxysmal vs persistent atrial fibrillation in real-world cardiology practices. METHODS: We studied 71,316 outpatients with atrial fibrillation and intermediate to high thromboembolic risk (CHADS2 score = 2) enrolled in the American College of Cardiology PINNACLE Registry between 2008 and 2012. Using hierarchical modified Poisson regression models adjusted for patient characteristics, we examined whether anticoagulant treatment rates differed between patients with paroxysmal vs persistent atrial fibrillation. RESULTS: The majority of outpatients (78.4%, n  = 55,905) had paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. In both unadjusted and multivariable adjusted analyses, patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation were less frequently prescribed oral anticoagulant therapy than those with persistent atrial fibrillation (50.3% vs 64.2%; adjusted risk ratio [RR] 0.74; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.72-0.76). Instead, patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation were prescribed more frequently only antiplatelet therapy (35.1% vs 25.0%; adjusted RR 1.77; 95% CI, 1.69-1.86) or neither antiplatelet nor anticoagulant therapy (14.6% vs 10.8%; adjusted RR 1.35; 95% CI, 1.26-1.44; P < .0001 for differences across all 3 comparisons). CONCLUSIONS: In a large, real-world cardiac outpatient population, patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation with a moderate to high risk of stroke were less likely to be prescribed appropriate oral anticoagulant therapy and more likely to be prescribed less effective or no therapy for thromboembolism prevention.

Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.