Thromb Haemost. 2022 Jan 4. doi: 10.1055/a-1731-3922. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: Data from clinical trials indicate that direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are non-inferior and safer than conventional therapy (low-molecular weight heparin followed by a vitamin K antagonist [VKA]) for treating venous thromboembolism (VTE), which includes deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism (PE). This study compared the effectiveness and safety of DOACs and conventional therapy in a real-world setting.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This observational study used French national claims data of adult, treatment-naïve patients diagnosed with VTE (majority PE) who were hospitalized and treated for VTE with a DOAC (apixaban or rivaroxaban) or VKAs during 2013-2018. Patients with active cancer were excluded. After propensity score matching for each DOAC-VKA comparison, risks of bleeding, recurrent VTE, and all-cause mortality were compared at 6 months. Cox proportional-hazards regression was used to estimate adjusted hazard ratios of the endpoints.
RESULTS: 58137 patients were included (10775 VKAs, 10440 apixaban, 36922 rivaroxaban). Propensity score-matched cohort sizes were 7503 for apixaban and 9179 for rivaroxaban. The hazard ratio (95% confidence interval) was significantly lower for apixaban than VKAs for bleeding requiring hospitalization (0.43 [0.32-0.59]), all-cause death (0.61 [0.51-0.74]), and first-recurrent VTE (0.67 [0.52-0.85]). The hazard ratio was also significantly lower for rivaroxaban than VKAs for all-cause death (0.63 [0.53-0.74]) but not for bleeding requiring hospitalization (0.86 [0.69-1.07]) or first-recurrent VTE (0.91 [0.74-1.13]).
CONCLUSIONS: Apixaban was associated with superior safety and effectiveness than VKAs. All-cause mortality was lower in both DOACs than VKAs. Our results support recommendations to use DOACs over VKAs for the treatment of VTE.