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Arch Cardiovasc Dis. 2018 Feb;111(2):74-84. doi: 10.1016/j.acvd.2017.04.007. Epub 2017 Sep 21.

Quality of life and patient satisfaction in patients with atrial fibrillation on stable vitamin K antagonist treatment or switched to a non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant during a 1-year follow-up: A PREFER in AF Registry substudy.

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G. d'Annunzio University Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy. Electronic address:
Institute for Health Economics, Steinbeis-University, Berlin, Germany.
Vivantes Hospital, Berlin, Germany.
Daiichi-Sankyo, Munich, Germany.
G. d'Annunzio University Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy.
London Bridge Hospital, London, UK.
University Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, Spain.
Georges Pompidou Hospital-René Descartes University, 75908 Paris, France.
University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.



Non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are being introduced for stroke prevention in non-valvular Atrial Fibrillation (AF), and promise to be accepted better than Vitamin K Antagonists (VKAs) by patients, improving their Quality of Life (QoL).


To assess to what extent patient-related factors influence decisions to switch from a VKA to a NOAC.


The PREFER in AF Registry collected data at baseline in 2012 - at the beginning of NOAC prescriptions - and at 1-year follow-up, in 6412 patients in seven Western European countries. QoL and patient satisfaction questionnaires (EQ-5D-5L and/or PACT-Q2) were completed in 3777 patients at both visits. Data were compared across categories of patients on stable treatment with a VKA (i.e. continuously over the previous 12 months) (n=2102) or recently switched (within 12 months) from a VKA to a NOAC (n=213) during a 1-year follow-up, allowing a snapshot of factors influencing the switch at a time when NOACs were being introduced into the market.


Compared to patients on stable treatment with a VKA, switched patients were similar in terms of age, sex, body mass index and other risk factors, but had lower prevalences of hypertension and heart valve dysfunction, and a lower rate of use of concomitant treatment with antiplatelet/anti-inflammatory agents; they also had a lower CHA2DS2-VASc score. Among 25 features investigated, switched patients more often reported bruising or bleeding, complained about bruising, were dissatisfied with the anticoagulant treatment, and reported mobility problems and anxiety/depressive traits.


At the beginning of NOAC prescriptions, European doctors tended to switch from VKAs to NOACs those patients at lower risk than "non-switchers". Complaints about bruising or bleeding, dissatisfaction with treatment, mobility problems and anxiety/depression traits appear to be related to - and may have influenced - the choice to switch from a VKA to a NOAC.


Anticoagulants oraux directs; Antivitamine K; Atrial fibrillation; Changement de traitement; Fibrillation atriale; Non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants; Patient satisfaction; Quality of life; Qualité de vie; Satisfaction du patient; Switching; Vitamin K antagonists

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