Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a condition where a blood forms in deep veins and travels in the circulation. If the clot is large, it can stop blood from reaching the lungs. Warfarin is the routinely-used anticoagulant for VTE, but it’s limitations have encouraged the use of oral anticoagulants. This study aims to compare the safety of oral coagulants and warfarin in VTE.

This retrospective matched cohort study included a total of 59,525 adults with a new diagnosis of VTE who were being treated by direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC) or warfarin. The primary outcome of the study was treatment-related adverse events, like major bleeding and all-cause mortality within 90 days after commencing the treatment.

During the mean follow-up of 85.2 days, a total of 1,967 patients (3.3%) had a major bleed, and 1,029 (1.7%) died. The risk of major bleeding was similar for both DOAC and warfarin (pooled HR 0.92), with the risk with DOAC being slightly higher. The findings suggested no difference in the risk of mortality for the use of DOAC and warfarin (pHR 0.99).

The research concluded that the treatment of VTE with DOAC was not associated with an increased risk of bleeding or mortality than warfarin.