To investigate the temporal trend of the prevalence of underprescription of anticoagulation treatment and explore the factors associated with underprescription of oral anticoagulants (OACs) among inpatients aged ≥ 80 years with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF).
We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of inpatients with a discharge diagnosis of NVAF from a medical database. We used the Pearson chi-square or Fisher’s exact test to compare categorical variables between patients with and without OAC prescriptions during hospitalization. Logistic regression analysis was used to assess the association between risk factors and underprescription of OACs.
A total of 4375 patients aged ≥ 80 years with AF were assessed in the largest academic hospital in China from August 1, 2016, to July 31, 2020, and 3165 NVAF patients were included. The prevalence of underprescription of OACs was 79.1% in 2017, 71.3% in 2018, 64.4% in 2019, and 56.1% in 2020. Of all participants, 2138 (67.6%) were not prescribed OACs; 66.3% and 68.2% of patients with and without prior stroke did not receive OACs, respectively. Age (85-89 vs 80-84, OR = 1.48, 95% CI (1.25-1.74); 90 + vs 80-84, OR = 2.66, 95% CI: 2.09-3.42), clinical department where patients were discharged (Reference = Cardiology, Geriatrics: OR = 2.97, 95% CI: 2.45- 3.61; neurology: OR = 1.25, 95% CI: 0.96, 1.63; others: OR = 4.23, 95% CI: 3.43- 5.24), use of antiplatelets (OR = 1.69, 95% CI: 1.45- 1.97), and history of stroke (OR = 0.83, 95% CI: 0.71- 0.98 adjusted age), and dementia (OR = 2.16, 95% CI: 1.60- 2.96) were significantly associated with not prescribing OACs.
The prevalence of underprescription of OACs has decreased over the past several years. The rate of underprescription of OACs was higher among NVAF patients who were older, prescribed antiplatelets, discharged from nondepartmental cardiology, and suffered from comorbidities. This study found iatrogenic factors affecting the underprescription of OACs in inpatients aged ≥ 80 years, providing clues and a basis for the standardized use of OACs in inpatients.

© 2022. The Author(s).