Publication Date


Journal Title

Am Heart J


BACKGROUND: There are limited data regarding clinical outcomes and healthcare resource utilization of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) who are morbidly obese (body mass index >40 kg/m

METHODS: Using data from 2 US healthcare claims databases, we identified patients initiating rivaroxaban or warfarin who had ≥1 medical claim with an AF diagnosis, a diagnostic code for morbid obesity (ICD-9: 278.01, V85.4%; ICD-10: E66.01%, E66.2%, Z68.4%), and a minimum continuous enrollment of 12 months before and 3 months after treatment initiation. Patients were excluded if they had mitral stenosis, a mechanical heart valve procedure, an organ/tissue transplant, or an oral anticoagulant prescription prior to the index date. Rivaroxaban and warfarin patients were 1:1 propensity score matched. Conditional logistic regression was used to compare ischemic stroke/systemic embolism and major bleeding risk. Generalized linear models were used to compare healthcare resource utilization and costs.

RESULTS: A total of 3563 matched pairs of morbidly obese AF patients treated with rivaroxaban or warfarin were identified. The majority (81.4%) of patients in the rivaroxaban cohort were receiving the 20 mg dose. The rivaroxaban and warfarin cohorts were well balanced after propensity score matching. The risks of ischemic stroke/systemic embolism and major bleeding were similar for rivaroxaban and warfarin users (stroke/systemic embolism: 1.5% vs 1.7%; odds ratio [OR]: 0.88; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.60, 1.28; P = .5028; major bleeding: 2.2% vs 2.7%; OR: 0.80; 95% CI: 0.59, 1.08; P = .1447). Total healthcare costs including medication costs per patient per year (PPPY) were significantly lower with rivaroxaban versus warfarin ($48,552 vs $52,418; P = .0025), which was primarily driven by lower hospitalization rate (50.2% vs 54.1%; P = .0008), shorter length of stay (7.5 vs 9.1 days; P = .0010), and less outpatient service utilization (86 vs 115 visits PPPY; P < .0001).

CONCLUSIONS: Morbidly obese AF patients treated with rivaroxaban had comparable risk of ischemic stroke/systemic embolism and major bleeding as those treated with warfarin, but lower healthcare resource utilization and costs.

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School of Medicine

Primary Department

General Internal Medicine