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Objectives This study investigated the efficacy and safety of novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and heart failure (HF) by a meta-analysis. Background AF is quite prevalent in patients with HF. Methods Four phase III clinical trials comparing NOACs to warfarin in patients with AF were included. Each patient was defined as affected by HF according to the criteria of the trial in which the patient was enrolled. Pre-specified outcomes were the composite of stroke/systemic embolism (SSE); major, intracranial, and any bleeding; and cardiovascular (CV) and all-cause death. Results A total of 55,011 patients were enrolled, 26,384 (48%) with HF, and 28,627 (52%) without HF; 27,518 receiving NOACs and 27,493 receiving warfarin (median, 70 years of age; 36% females; follow-up: 1.5 to 2.8 years). Rates of SSE (relative risk [RR]: 0.98; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.90 to 1.07]; p = 0.68) and major bleeding (RR: 0.95; 95% CI: 0.88 to 1.03; p = 0.21) were comparable in patients with and without HF. HF patients had reduced rates of any (RR: 0.86; 95% CI: 0.81 to 0.91; p < 0.01) and intracranial (RR: 0.74 95% CI: 0.63 to 0.88; p < 0.01) bleeding but increased rates of all-cause (RR: 1.70 95% CI: 1.31 to 2.19; p < 0.01) and CV death (RR: 2.05 95% CI: 1.66 to 2.55; p < 0.01). NOACs, compared with warfarin significantly reduced SSE and major, intracranial, and any bleeding, regardless of the presence or absence of HF (pinteraction > 0.05 for each). Conclusions Patients with AF and HF had increased mortality but reduced rates of intracranial and any bleeding compared with the no-HF patients, with no differences in rates of SSE and major bleeding. NOACs significantly reduced SSE, major bleeding, and intracranial hemorrhage in HF patients. No interactions in efficacy and safety of NOACs were observed between AF patients with and without HF.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

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Journal Article

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