Bleeding-related hospital admissions and 30-day readmissions in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation treated with dabigatran versus warfarin
- Manuscript handled by: F. R. Rosendaal
- Final decision: F. R. Rosendaal, 14 July 2017
- Bleeding is a common cause of hospital admission and readmission in oral anticoagulant users.
- Patients with dabigatran and warfarin were included to assess hospital admission risk.
- Dabigatran users had a higher risk of 30-day readmission with bleeding than warfarin users.
- Close monitoring following hospital discharge for dabigatran-related bleeding is warranted.
Reducing 30-day hospital readmission is a policy priority worldwide. Warfarin-related bleeding is among the most common cause of hospital admissions as a result of adverse drug events. Compared with warfarin, dabigatran achieves a full anticoagulation effect more quickly following its initiation; hence it may lead to early-onset bleeds.
To compare the incidence of bleeding-related hospital admissions and 30-day readmissions with dabigatran vs. warfarin in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF).
This was a retrospective cohort study using a population-wide database managed by the Hong Kong Hospital Authority. Patients newly diagnosed with NVAF from 2010 through to 2014 and prescribed dabigatran or warfarin were 1:1 matched by propensity score. The incidence rate of hospital admission with bleeding (a composite of gastrointestinal bleeding, intracranial hemorrhage and bleeding at other sites) was assessed.
Among the 51 946 patients with NVAF, 8309 users of dabigatran or warfarin were identified, with 5160 patients matched by propensity score. The incidence of first hospitalized bleeding did not differ significantly between groups (incidence rate ratio, 0.92; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.66–1.28). Among patients who were continuously prescribed their initial anticoagulants upon discharge, dabigatran use was associated with a higher risk of 30-day readmission with bleeding over warfarin (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.87; 95%CI, 1.10–7.43).
When compared with warfarin, dabigatran was associated with a comparable incidence of first hospital admission but a higher risk of 30-day redmission with respect to bleeding. Close early monitoring of patients initiated on dabigatran following hospital discharge for bleeding is warranted.