Utilization of anticoagulation therapy in Medicare patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation

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By Winghan Jacqueline Kwong, Bruce S. Pyenson, Jonah Broulette, Kathryn V. Fitch, Kosuke Iwasaki | 30 June 2012

Clinical guidelines recommend oral anticoagulation for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) at moderate or high risk for stroke but not at high risk for bleeding; however, studies consistently report suboptimal use of such therapy.

This study compares real-world warfarin utilization with current treatment guideline recommendations, and assesses the effect of warfarin exposure level on patient outcomes in Medicare beneficiaries with nonvalvular AF (NVAF).

A significant proportion of Medicare beneficiaries with AF are not receiving guideline-recommended anticoagulation therapy, which leads to an excess rate of ischemic stroke in this patient population. These findings highlight quality-of-care issues for patients with AF and the need to improve compliance with anticoagulation guidelines in the Medicare population.

This article was published in the May/June 2012 issue of American Health & Drug Benefits.

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