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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Management of Atrial Fibrillation in Older Patients by Morbidity Burden: Insights From Get With The Guidelines-Atrial Fibrillation.

  • Author(s): Dalgaard, Frederik
  • Xu, Haolin
  • Matsouaka, Roland A
  • Russo, Andrea M
  • Curtis, Anne B
  • Rasmussen, Peter Vibe
  • Ruwald, Martin H
  • Fonarow, Gregg C
  • Lowenstern, Angela
  • Hansen, Morten L
  • Pallisgaard, Jannik L
  • Alexander, Karen P
  • Alexander, John H
  • Lopes, Renato D
  • Granger, Christopher B
  • Lewis, William R
  • Piccini, Jonathan P
  • Al-Khatib, Sana M
  • et al.

Background Knowledge is scarce regarding how multimorbidity is associated with therapeutic decisions regarding oral anticoagulants (OACs) in patients with atrial fibrillation. Methods and Results We conducted a cross-sectional study of hospitalized patients with atrial fibrillation using the Get With The Guidelines-Atrial Fibrillation registry from 2013 to 2019. We identified patients ≥65 years and eligible for OAC therapy. Using 16 available comorbidity categories, patients were stratified by morbidity burden. A multivariable logistic regression model was used to determine the odds of receiving OAC prescription at discharge by morbidity burden. We included 34 174 patients with a median (interquartile range) age of 76 (71-83) years, 56.6% women, and 41.9% were not anticoagulated at admission. Of these patients, 38.6% had 0 to 2 comorbidities, 50.7% had 3 to 5 comorbidities, and 10.7% had ≥6 comorbidities. The overall discharge OAC prescription was high (85.6%). The prevalence of patients with multimorbidity increased from 59.7% in 2014 to 64.3% in 2019 (P trend=0.002). Using 0 to 2 comorbidities as the reference, the adjusted odds ratio (95% CI) of OAC prescription were 0.93 (0.82, 1.05) for patients with 3 to 5 comorbidities and 0.72 (0.60, 0.86) for patients with ≥6 comorbidities. In those with ≥6 comorbidities, the most common reason for nonprescription of OACs were frequent falls/frailty (31.0%). Conclusions In a contemporary quality-of-care database of hospitalized patients with atrial fibrillation eligible for OAC therapy, multimorbidity was common. A higher morbidity burden was associated with a lower odds of OAC prescription. This highlights the need for interventions to improve adherence to guideline-recommended anticoagulation in multimorbid patients with atrial fibrillation.

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