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Circulation. 2015 Jul 21;132(3):194-204. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.013267. Epub 2015 May 20.

Efficacy and Harms of Direct Oral Anticoagulants in the Elderly for Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation and Secondary Prevention of Venous Thromboembolism: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Author information

1
From Department of Primary Care and Public Health Sciences, King's College London, United Kingdom (M.S., V.R.C., M.M.); Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Guy's and St Thomas Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom (M.S.); Department of Haematological Medicine, King's College Hospital, London, United Kingdom (J.P.P.); and Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, King's College London, United Kingdom (J.P.P., J.G.D.). manujsharma2014@gmail.com mariam.molokhia@kcl.ac.uk.
2
From Department of Primary Care and Public Health Sciences, King's College London, United Kingdom (M.S., V.R.C., M.M.); Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Guy's and St Thomas Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom (M.S.); Department of Haematological Medicine, King's College Hospital, London, United Kingdom (J.P.P.); and Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, King's College London, United Kingdom (J.P.P., J.G.D.).

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Evidence regarding the use of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) in the elderly, particularly bleeding risks, is unclear despite the presence of greater comorbidities, polypharmacy, and altered pharmacokinetics in this age group.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials of DOACs (dabigatran, apixaban, rivaroxaban, and edoxaban) for efficacy and bleeding outcomes in comparison with vitamin K antagonists (VKA) in elderly participants (aged ≥75 years) treated for acute venous thromboembolism or stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation. Nineteen studies were eligible for inclusion, but only 11 reported data specifically for elderly participants. The efficacy in managing thrombotic risks for each DOAC was similar or superior to VKA in elderly patients. A nonsignificantly higher risk of major bleeding than with VKA was observed with dabigatran 150 mg (odds ratio, 1.18; 95% confidence interval, 0.97-1.44) but not with the 110-mg dose. Significantly higher gastrointestinal bleeding risks with dabigatran 150 mg (1.78, 1.35-2.35) and dabigatran 110 mg (1.40, 1.04-1.90) and lower intracranial bleeding risks than VKA for dabigatran 150 mg (0.43, 0.26-0.72) and dabigatran 110 mg (0.36, 0.22-0.61) were also observed. A significantly lower major bleeding risk in comparison with VKA was observed for apixaban (0.63, 0.51-0.77), edoxaban 60 mg (0.81, 0.67-0.98), and 30 mg (0.46, 0.38-0.57), whereas rivaroxaban showed similar risks.

CONCLUSIONS:

DOACs demonstrated at least equal efficacy to VKA in managing thrombotic risks in the elderly, but bleeding patterns were distinct. In particular, dabigatran was associated with a higher risk of gastrointestinal bleeding than VKA. Insufficient published data for apixaban, edoxaban, and rivaroxaban indicate that further work is needed to clarify the bleeding risks of these DOACs in the elderly.

SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION:

http://www.crd.york.ac.uk/PROSPERO. Unique identifier: PROSPERO CRD42014007171/.

KEYWORDS:

aged; anticoagulants; atrial fibrillation; hemorrhage; meta-analysis; systematic review; venous thromboembolism

PMID:
25995317
PMCID:
PMC4765082
DOI:
10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.013267
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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