Cureus. 2020 Aug 25;12(8):e10006. doi: 10.7759/cureus.10006.
Introduction The use of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) has gained significant traction given the lack of therapeutic monitoring and the need for anticoagulant bridging. There is a paucity of data on their effectiveness in obese patients with venous thromboembolism (VTE). Preliminary subgroup and pharmacokinetic analyses suggest reduced efficacy in those with a bodyweight >120 kg or body mass index (BMI) ≥40 kg per m2 and it is currently not recommended that these agents be used as first-line agents. We aimed to assess the rate of VTE recurrence in obese patients diagnosed with VTE and treated with DOAC therapy. Methods We utilized the Health Facts Center National Data Warehouse (Cerner) to perform a retrospective analysis of patients with VTE (acute deep venous thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism) that presented to the hospital between 2010 and 2016 and were managed with DOACs. The cohort of patients diagnosed with DVT or PE were identified using International Classification of Disease (ICD-9-CM, ICD-10-CM). Patients were divided into two groups based on their weight: 1) weight <120 kg or 2) weight>120 kg. Six-month VTE recurrence rates were recorded. Summary and univariate statistics were performed. Results A total of 18,147 patients with a mean (±SD) age of 62 (17) years were included; 48% (n=8732) were male. A total of 2,419 (13%) patients weighed >120 kg while the rest (N=15,728, 87%) weighed <120 kg. There were significantly more female patients weighing<120 kg (54% vs 42%, p<0.0001); otherwise, there was no significant difference in age or tobacco use between both groups (p>0.05). There was no significant difference in six-month readmission rates for VTE recurrence in patients that weighed <120 kg (34%) in comparison with patients >120 kg (36%) (p=0.08). Conclusion Our study suggests that the use of DOACs in obese patients is equally efficacious with similar VTE recurrence rates in comparison with non-obese patients. This study paves the way for prospective multi-institutional randomized control trials to further reinforce the safe use of such agents in this patient population.