Associations between clinical and social factors and anticoagulant prescription among patients with atrial fibrillation: A retrospective cohort study from a large healthcare system


Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center


Background:Patient clinical factors and social determinants of health (SDOH) are associated with an increased risk of stroke for patients with atrial fibrillation (AF); however, the association between these factors and the management of AF is not well characterized, particularly among those factors commonly collected in electronic health records (EHRs). This study used EHR data to evaluate the associations between patient clinical factors and SDOH and prescribing of an oral anticoagulant (OAC) for stroke prevention in AF.

Methods:This analysis included adult patients with newly diagnosed AF who had ≥2 encounters in the Advocate Aurora Health system in Wisconsin between May 2016 and May 2021. Patient-level demographics, comorbidities, medications, and SDOH were retrospectively extracted from EHRs. Area deprivation index (ADI) was linked to patient records as a measure of socioeconomic status.

Results:Of 16,656 patients with AF, 10,898 (65.4%) were prescribed an OAC within the first year of diagnosis. Patients were less likely to be prescribed an OAC (relative risk [95% CI]) if they were widowed (0.98 [0.96-0.99] vs single) or had a history of alcoholism (0.86 [0.79-0.95] vs no history). Most patients (53.3%) received prescriptions from a primary care provider. A linear relationship was found between worsening ADI and increased prescriptions for warfarin vs those for direct-acting OACs.

Conclusions:Although guideline-concordant anticoagulant use remained suboptimal, clinical characteristics were strongly associated for whether a patient with AF would be prescribed an OAC. Disparities in patient care regarding the prescribing of OACs due to SDOH and associated behaviors were small but present, particularly for national ADI.



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