Huisman MV, Teutsch C, Lu S, Diener HC, Dubner SJ, Halperin JL, Ma CS, Rothman KJ, Lohmann R, Gurusamy VK, Bartels DB, Lip GYH, GLORIA-AF Investigators. Dabigatran versus vitamin K antagonists for atrial fibrillation in clinical practice: final outcomes from Phase III of the GLORIA-AF registry. Clin Res Cardiol. 2022 May;111(5):548-59. doi: 10.1007/s00392-021-01957-1

BACKGROUND: Prospectively collected, routine clinical practice-based data on antithrombotic therapy in non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) patients are important for assessing real-world comparative outcomes. The objective was to compare the safety and effectiveness of dabigatran versus vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) in patients with newly diagnosed AF.

METHODS AND RESULTS: GLORIA-AF is a large, prospective, global registry program. Consecutive patients with newly diagnosed AF and CHA2DS2-VASc scores ≥ 1 were included and followed for 3 years. To control for differences in patient characteristics, the comparative analysis for dabigatran versus VKA was performed on a propensity score (PS)-matched patient set. Missing data were multiply imputed. Proportional-hazards regression was used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) for outcomes of interest. Between 2014 and 2016, 21,300 eligible patients were included worldwide: 3839 patients were prescribed dabigatran and 4836 VKA with a median age of 71.0 and 72.0 years, respectively; > 85% in each group had a CHA2DS2-VASc-score ≥ 2. The PS-matched comparative analysis for dabigatran and VKA included on average 3326 pairs of matched initiators. For dabigatran versus VKAs, adjusted HRs (95% confidence intervals) were: stroke 0.89 (0.59-1.34), major bleeding 0.61 (0.42-0.88), all-cause death 0.78 (0.63-0.97), and myocardial infarction 0.89 (0.53-1.48). Further analyses stratified by PS and region provided similar results.

CONCLUSIONS: Dabigatran was associated with a 39% reduced risk of major bleeding and 22% reduced risk for all-cause death compared with VKA. Stroke and myocardial infarction risks were similar, confirming a more favorable benefit-risk profile for dabigatran compared with VKA in clinical practice.

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