Disparities and Temporal Trends in the Use of Anticoagulation in Patients With Ischemic Stroke and Atrial Fibrillation

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warfarin, cerebrovascular disorders, atrial fibrillation, women, humans

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Background and Purpose: Ischemic stroke (IS) secondary to atrial fibrillation (AF) is largely preventable with the use of anticoagulation. We sought to identify race-ethnicity and sex disparities with the use of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs), aspirin, and warfarin in IS patients with AF and to identify temporal trends in the utilization of these medications.

Methods: The FLiPER-AF Stroke Study (Florida Puerto Rico Atrial Fibrillation) included 24 040 IS cases enrolled in the Florida-Puerto Rico Collaboration to Reduce Stroke Registry from 2010 to 2016. Multivariable logistic regression models were performed to evaluate the effect of race-ethnicity and sex on utilization of DOACs, aspirin, and warfarin for stroke prevention in AF after adjustment for sociodemographic, hospital, and clinical factors.

Results: Among 24 040 IS cases, 54% were women and 10% black, 12% FL-Hispanics, 4% PR-Hispanic, and 74% whites. From 2010 to 2016, DOAC use increased from 0% to 36%, warfarin use decreased from 51% to 17%, and aspirin use remained relatively stable (42%–40%). After adjustment, blacks had higher odds of warfarin (odds ratio, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.07–1.40) prescription at discharge compared with whites. Men had higher rates of aspirin (42.1% versus 38.8%), warfarin (33.6% versus 28.9%), and DOAC (21.3% versus 19.3%) use compared with women. After adjustment, women had lower odds of being discharged on aspirin (odds ratio, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.86–0.98) or warfarin (odds ratio, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.84–0.99). There was no sex difference in use of DOACs.

Conclusions: Our study confirmed the increasing use of DOACs, downtrending use of warfarin, whereas aspirin use remained similar over the years. There are sex and race-ethnicity disparities in anticoagulation use in IS patients with AF. It is critical to understand underlying drivers of these disparities to develop better practice strategies for stroke prevention in patients with AF.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Stroke, v. 50, issue 16, p. 1452-1459