Thromboprophylaxis of elderly patients with AF in the UK: an analysis using the General Practice Research Database (GPRD) 2000–2009
- Correspondence to Professor Jonathan Mant, MA, MSc, MBBS, MD, FFPH, FRCPEdin Professor of Primary Care Research, University of Cambridge, Strangeways Research Laboratory, Worts Causeway, Cambridge CB1 8RN, UK;
- Received 3 August 2012
- Revised 11 September 2012
- Accepted 12 September 2012
- Published Online First 19 October 2012
Objective To assess use of thromboprophylaxis in UK general practise among patients with atrial fibrillation (AF); to investigate whether elderly patients are less likely to receive anticoagulation therapy than younger patients.
Design Retrospective cohort study
Setting UK General Practice Research Database (GPRD)
Patients Aged ≥60 years with a new diagnosis of AF (2000–2009).
Main outcome measures The main outcome measure was initiation of warfarin in the first year following diagnosis. Patients were categorised by stroke risk (CHADS2 score) and bleeding risk (HAS-BLED score).
Results 81 381 patients were identified (21% aged 60–69 years, 37% aged 70–79 years, 42% aged 80+ years). Patients aged 80+ years were significantly less likely to be initiated on warfarin than younger patients, adjusted for gender, practice and comorbidities; 32% of patients aged 80+ years received warfarin compared with 57% aged 60–69 years (p<0.0001), and 55% aged 70–79 years (p<0.0001). For all strata of CHADS2/HASBLED scores, patients aged 80+ years were significantly less likely to be treated with warfarin than younger patients. Logistic regression showed that female sex, low Basal Metabolic Index (BMI), age over 80 years, increasing HAS-BLED score and dementia were independently associated with reduced use of warfarin. Stroke/Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA), hypertension, heart failure and left ventricular systolic dysfunction were associated with increased use. Patients with HAS-BLED>CHADS2 were less likely to be initiated on warfarin. Higher CHADS2 scores were associated with increased anticoagulation use.
Conclusions Anticoagulation is being under-used in patients with AF aged 80+ years, even after taking into account increased bleeding risk in this age group.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/ and http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/legalcode