Non–Vitamin K Antagonist Oral Anticoagulants for Stroke Prevention in Asian Patients With Nonvalvular Atrial Fibrillation
Background and Purpose—The use of vitamin K antagonists (VKAs), the cornerstone treatment for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation, is limited by the perceived risk of serious bleeding in Asia. Non-VKA oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are safer alternatives. Here, we evaluate performance differences of NOACs between Asians and non-Asians.
Methods—We compared efficacy and safety of NOACs between patients enrolled in Asian and non-Asian countries using aggregative data from phase III clinical trials. The odds ratios (ORs [95% confidence interval]) were calculated by a random effects model.
Results—Comparing with VKAs, standard-dose NOACs reduced stroke or systemic embolism (OR=0.65 [0.52–0.83] versus 0.85 [0.77–0.93], P interaction= 0.045) more in Asians than in non-Asians and were safer in Asians than in non-Asians about major bleeding (OR=0.57 [0.44–0.74] versus 0.89 [0.76–1.04], P interaction=0.004), hemorrhagic stroke (OR=0.32 [0.19–0.52] versus 0.56 [0.44–0.70], P interaction=0.046) in particular, whereas gastrointestinal bleeding was significantly increased in non-Asians (OR=0.79 [0.48–1.32] versus 1.44 [1.12–1.85], P interaction=0.041). Generally, low-dose NOACs were safer than VKAs without heterogeneity in efficacy and safety between Asians and non-Asians, except for ischemic stroke, major, and gastrointestinal bleeding.
Conclusions—Our findings suggest that standard-dose NOACs were more effective and safer in Asians than in non-Asians, whereas low-dose NOACs performed similarly in both populations.
- Received May 1, 2015.
- Revision received June 9, 2013.
- Accepted June 23, 2015.
- © 2015 The Authors.
Stroke is published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wolters Kluwer. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial-NoDervis License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided that the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial, and no modifications or adaptations are made.