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Non–Vitamin K Antagonist Oral Anticoagulants for Stroke Prevention in Asian Patients With Nonvalvular Atrial Fibrillation : Meta-Analysis

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      Abstract

      Supplemental Digital Content is available in the text.

      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.

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      Most cited references 36

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      Dabigatran versus warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation.

      Warfarin reduces the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation but increases the risk of hemorrhage and is difficult to use. Dabigatran is a new oral direct thrombin inhibitor. In this noninferiority trial, we randomly assigned 18,113 patients who had atrial fibrillation and a risk of stroke to receive, in a blinded fashion, fixed doses of dabigatran--110 mg or 150 mg twice daily--or, in an unblinded fashion, adjusted-dose warfarin. The median duration of the follow-up period was 2.0 years. The primary outcome was stroke or systemic embolism. Rates of the primary outcome were 1.69% per year in the warfarin group, as compared with 1.53% per year in the group that received 110 mg of dabigatran (relative risk with dabigatran, 0.91; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.74 to 1.11; P<0.001 for noninferiority) and 1.11% per year in the group that received 150 mg of dabigatran (relative risk, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.53 to 0.82; P<0.001 for superiority). The rate of major bleeding was 3.36% per year in the warfarin group, as compared with 2.71% per year in the group receiving 110 mg of dabigatran (P=0.003) and 3.11% per year in the group receiving 150 mg of dabigatran (P=0.31). The rate of hemorrhagic stroke was 0.38% per year in the warfarin group, as compared with 0.12% per year with 110 mg of dabigatran (P<0.001) and 0.10% per year with 150 mg of dabigatran (P<0.001). The mortality rate was 4.13% per year in the warfarin group, as compared with 3.75% per year with 110 mg of dabigatran (P=0.13) and 3.64% per year with 150 mg of dabigatran (P=0.051). In patients with atrial fibrillation, dabigatran given at a dose of 110 mg was associated with rates of stroke and systemic embolism that were similar to those associated with warfarin, as well as lower rates of major hemorrhage. Dabigatran administered at a dose of 150 mg, as compared with warfarin, was associated with lower rates of stroke and systemic embolism but similar rates of major hemorrhage. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00262600.) 2009 Massachusetts Medical Society
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        Rivaroxaban versus warfarin in nonvalvular atrial fibrillation.

        The use of warfarin reduces the rate of ischemic stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation but requires frequent monitoring and dose adjustment. Rivaroxaban, an oral factor Xa inhibitor, may provide more consistent and predictable anticoagulation than warfarin. In a double-blind trial, we randomly assigned 14,264 patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation who were at increased risk for stroke to receive either rivaroxaban (at a daily dose of 20 mg) or dose-adjusted warfarin. The per-protocol, as-treated primary analysis was designed to determine whether rivaroxaban was noninferior to warfarin for the primary end point of stroke or systemic embolism. In the primary analysis, the primary end point occurred in 188 patients in the rivaroxaban group (1.7% per year) and in 241 in the warfarin group (2.2% per year) (hazard ratio in the rivaroxaban group, 0.79; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.66 to 0.96; P<0.001 for noninferiority). In the intention-to-treat analysis, the primary end point occurred in 269 patients in the rivaroxaban group (2.1% per year) and in 306 patients in the warfarin group (2.4% per year) (hazard ratio, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.74 to 1.03; P<0.001 for noninferiority; P=0.12 for superiority). Major and nonmajor clinically relevant bleeding occurred in 1475 patients in the rivaroxaban group (14.9% per year) and in 1449 in the warfarin group (14.5% per year) (hazard ratio, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.96 to 1.11; P=0.44), with significant reductions in intracranial hemorrhage (0.5% vs. 0.7%, P=0.02) and fatal bleeding (0.2% vs. 0.5%, P=0.003) in the rivaroxaban group. In patients with atrial fibrillation, rivaroxaban was noninferior to warfarin for the prevention of stroke or systemic embolism. There was no significant between-group difference in the risk of major bleeding, although intracranial and fatal bleeding occurred less frequently in the rivaroxaban group. (Funded by Johnson & Johnson and Bayer; ROCKET AF ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00403767.).
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          Apixaban versus warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation.

          Vitamin K antagonists are highly effective in preventing stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation but have several limitations. Apixaban is a novel oral direct factor Xa inhibitor that has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke in a similar population in comparison with aspirin. In this randomized, double-blind trial, we compared apixaban (at a dose of 5 mg twice daily) with warfarin (target international normalized ratio, 2.0 to 3.0) in 18,201 patients with atrial fibrillation and at least one additional risk factor for stroke. The primary outcome was ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke or systemic embolism. The trial was designed to test for noninferiority, with key secondary objectives of testing for superiority with respect to the primary outcome and to the rates of major bleeding and death from any cause. The median duration of follow-up was 1.8 years. The rate of the primary outcome was 1.27% per year in the apixaban group, as compared with 1.60% per year in the warfarin group (hazard ratio with apixaban, 0.79; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.66 to 0.95; P<0.001 for noninferiority; P=0.01 for superiority). The rate of major bleeding was 2.13% per year in the apixaban group, as compared with 3.09% per year in the warfarin group (hazard ratio, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.60 to 0.80; P<0.001), and the rates of death from any cause were 3.52% and 3.94%, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.80 to 0.99; P=0.047). The rate of hemorrhagic stroke was 0.24% per year in the apixaban group, as compared with 0.47% per year in the warfarin group (hazard ratio, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.35 to 0.75; P<0.001), and the rate of ischemic or uncertain type of stroke was 0.97% per year in the apixaban group and 1.05% per year in the warfarin group (hazard ratio, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.74 to 1.13; P=0.42). In patients with atrial fibrillation, apixaban was superior to warfarin in preventing stroke or systemic embolism, caused less bleeding, and resulted in lower mortality. (Funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer; ARISTOTLE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00412984.).
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            From the General Clinical Research Center (K.-L.W., C.-E.C.), Department of Medical Research (K.-L.W., S.-J.L., C.-E.C.), and Division of Cardiology (K.-L.W., S.-J.L., C.-E.C.), Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan; School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan (K.-L.W., S.-J.L., C.-E.C.); University of Birmingham, Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences, City Hospital, Birmingham, United Kingdom (G.Y.H.L.); and Aalborg Thrombosis Research Unit, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark (G.Y.H.L.).
            Author notes
            Correspondence to Chern-En Chiang, MD, PhD, General Clinical Research Center, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan. E-mail cechiang@ 123456vghtpe.gov.tw
            Journal
            Stroke
            Stroke
            STR
            Stroke; a Journal of Cerebral Circulation
            Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
            0039-2499
            1524-4628
            September 2015
            24 August 2015
            : 46
            : 9
            : 2555-2561
            26304863 4542566 00027 10.1161/STROKEAHA.115.009947
            © 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 noncommercial, and no modifications or adaptations are made.

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