COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Apixaban in patients with atrial fibrillation and prior coronary artery disease: insights from the ARISTOTLE trial

Maria Cecilia Bahit, Renato D Lopes, Daniel M Wojdyla, Stefan H Hohnloser, John H Alexander, Basil S Lewis, Philip E Aylward, Freek W A Verheugt, Matyas Keltai, Rafael Diaz, Michael Hanna, Christopher B Granger, Lars Wallentin
International Journal of Cardiology 2013 December 10, 170 (2): 215-20
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BACKGROUND: A substantial portion of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) also have coronary artery disease (CAD) and are at risk for coronary events. Warfarin is known to reduce these events, but increase the risk of bleeding. We assessed the effects of apixaban compared with warfarin in AF patients with and without prior CAD.

METHODS AND RESULTS: In ARISTOTLE, 18,201 patients with AF were randomized to apixaban or warfarin. History of CAD was defined as documented CAD, prior myocardial infarction, and/or history of coronary revascularization. We analyzed baseline characteristics and clinical outcomes of patients with and without prior CAD and compared outcomes by randomized treatment using Cox models. A total of 6639 (36.5%) patients had prior CAD. These patients were more often male, more likely to have prior stroke, diabetes, and hypertension, and more often received aspirin at baseline (42.2% vs. 24.5%). The effects of apixaban were similar among patients with and without prior CAD on reducing stroke or systemic embolism and death from any cause (hazard ratio [HR] 0.95, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.71-1.27, P for interaction=0.12; HR 0.96, 95% CI 0.81-1.13, P for interaction=0.28). Rates of myocardial infarction were numerically lower with apixaban than warfarin among patients with and without prior CAD. The effect of apixaban on reducing major bleeding and intracranial hemorrhage was consistent in patients with and without CAD.

CONCLUSIONS: In patients with AF, apixaban more often prevented stroke or systemic embolism and death and caused less bleeding than warfarin, regardless of the presence of prior CAD. Given the common occurrence of AF and CAD and the higher rates of cardiovascular events and death, our results indicate that apixaban may be a better treatment option than warfarin for these high-risk patients.

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