Atrial fibrillation (AF) increases the risk of stroke and direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are first-line agents for prevention. Gaps in the literature cause reluctance in prescribing DOACs for patients with renal dysfunction and/or extremes in body weight.
To evaluate the impact body weight and renal function have on major and clinically relevant nonmajor (CRNM) bleeding events and ischemic strokes in AF patients receiving a DOAC.
This retrospective cohort study included adults with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) or atrial flutter (AFL) receiving a DOAC ≥12 months. The primary outcome was a composite of major and CRNM bleeding events. Secondary outcomes included ischemic stroke and risk factors for bleeding events.
Of the 233 patients analyzed, 25 patients experienced a bleeding event. Patients who bled weighed 10 kg less ( = 0.043) than those who did not and had a higher HASBLED score ( = 0.003). Multivariate logistic regression identified weight ( = 0.048), serum creatinine (SCr; = 0.027), and HASBLED score ( = 0.024) as the significant predictors for experiencing a bleed. Three patients experienced a stroke.
This study demonstrates an association between higher baseline SCr, elevated HASBLED score, and lower weight, with an increased risk of bleeding in patients with NVAF or AFL receiving a DOAC. These findings add to prescribing considerations when initiating DOACs. Closer monitoring is advised for patients with significant renal dysfunction and/or low body weight, even with renal dose adjustments.