Persistence and outcomes of non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants versus warfarin in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation

Shanshan Wu, Shuo Xie, Yingjie Xu, Dongdong Que, Tung On Yau, Lizi Wang, Yuanping Huang

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14 Citations (Scopus)


AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To compare persistence and outcomes of non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) versus warfarin in Chinese patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF).

BACKGROUND: Given the unpredictable warfarin response and the costliness of NOACs, more research is needed to clarify which drug enjoys better persistence and outcomes, helping to provide personalised care for patients.

DESIGN: A prospective cohort study.

METHODS: Chinese patients taking NOACs or warfarin from March 2016-April 2018 were followed up by telephone or outpatient visit at 3, 6 months and half a year thereafter. Anticoagulant persistence and outcomes including stroke and bleeding were collected. We used Cox regression to analyse data. This study was reported according to the STROBE guideline.

RESULTS: A total of 344 patients were enrolled; 146 patients received NOACs including dabigatran and rivaroxaban, and 198 patients received warfarin. Persistence with anticoagulants was low and dropped sharply at the third month. Patients on NOACs had worse persistence at 3, 6 and 12 months than those on warfarin. There was no difference in the incidence of ischaemic stroke and bleeding between groups, although ischaemic stroke and major bleeding occurred less frequently in the NOACs group. Paroxysmal AF, no heart failure and no stroke were predictors of NOACs non-persistence. Prior catheter ablation and no diabetes were associated with poor persistence of warfarin. The main reason for anticoagulant cessation was patient preference.

CONCLUSIONS: Chinese patients taking NOACs had lower persistence, similar rate of ischaemic stroke and bleeding compared with those on warfarin. Further inventions are needed to improve persistence in Chinese patients on NOACs.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Anticoagulation should highlight both persistence and outcomes emphasising personalised care of different drugs. Further interventions to improve persistence should be developed based on causes and risk factors and carried out in the third month of therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1839-1846
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number9-10
Publication statusPrint publication - May 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anticoagulants/administration & dosage
  • Atrial Fibrillation/complications
  • Dabigatran/administration & dosage
  • Factor Xa Inhibitors/administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Hemorrhage/epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence/statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Preference
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rivaroxaban/administration & dosage
  • Stroke/epidemiology
  • Warfarin/administration & dosage


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