Am J Cardiol. 2022 Jan 15;163:43-49. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2021.09.047.
Real-world studies have evaluated the use of anticoagulants in obese patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF), but they have been limited by sample size or the use of diagnosis codes on claims to define obesity. This retrospective study used body weight data of ≥100 kg or a body mass index of ≥30 kg/m2 to identify elderly (aged ≥65 years) NVAF patients with obesity in dually enrolled Veterans Affairs and fee-for-service Medicare patients. It evaluated the risk of stroke/systemic embolism (SE) and major bleeding (MB) in patients that initiated apixaban versus warfarin. Stabilized inverse probability treatment weighting was used to balance the baseline characteristics between patients prescribed apixaban and warfarin in obese patients. Cox models were used to evaluate the relative risk of stroke/SE and MB. Overall, 35.9% (n = 26,522) of the NVAF population were obese, of which 13,604 apixaban and 12,918 warfarin patients were included. After inverse probability treatment weighting, patient characteristics were balanced. The mean age was 75 years, the mean CHA2DS2-VASc score (Congestive Heart Failure, Hypertension, Age ≥75 [Doubled], Diabetes Mellitus, Prior Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack [Doubled], Vascular Disease, Age 65-74, Female) was 3.8, the mean HAS-BLED (Hypertension, Abnormal Renal/Liver Function, Stroke, Bleeding History or Predisposition, Labile INR, Elderly, Drugs/Alcohol Concomitantly) Score was ∼2.6, and >98% of patients were males. Obese apixaban patients were associated with a similar risk of stroke/SE (hazard ratio: 0.82; 95% confidence interval: 0.66 to 1.03) and a significantly lower risk of MB (hazard ratio: 0.62; 95% confidence interval: 0.54 to 0.70) versus warfarin. No significant interaction was observed between treatment and obesity status (nonobese, obese/nonmorbid, obese/morbid) for stroke/SE (interaction p = 0.602) or MB (interaction p = 0.385). In obese patients with NVAF, apixaban was associated with a similar risk of stroke/SE and a significantly lower risk of MB versus warfarin.