Oral Anticoagulation Use in High-Risk Patients Is Improved by Elimination of False-Positive and Inactive Atrial Fibrillation Cases

Gerald V. Naccarelli, Mohammed Ruzieh, Deborah L. Wolbrette, Mauricio Sendra-Ferrer, John van Harskamp, Barbara Bentz, Gregory Caputo, Nathan McConkey, Kevin Mills, Stephen Wasemiller, Jovan Plamenac, Douglas Leslie, Frendy D. Glasser, Thomas W. Abendroth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Multiple registries have reported that >40% of high-risk atrial fibrillation patients are not taking oral anticoagulants. The purpose of our study was to determine the presence or absence of active atrial fibrillation and CHA2DS2-VASc (Congestive heart failure, Hypertension, Age ≥75 y, Diabetes mellitus, prior Stroke [or transient ischemic attack or thromboembolism], Vascular disease, Age 65-74 y, Sex category) risk factors to accurately identify high-risk atrial fibrillation (CHA2DS2-VASc ≥2) patients requiring oral anticoagulants and the magnitude of the anticoagulant treatment gap. Methods: We retrospectively adjudicated 6514 patients with atrial fibrillation documented by at least one of: billing diagnosis, electronic medical record encounter diagnosis, electronic medical record problem list, or electrocardiogram interpretation. Results: After review, 4555/6514 (69.9%) had active atrial fibrillation, while 1201 had no documented history of atrial fibrillation and 758 had a history of atrial fibrillation that was no longer active. After removing the 1201 patients without a confirmed atrial fibrillation diagnosis, oral anticoagulant use in high-risk patients increased to 71.1% (P <.0001 compared with 62.9% at baseline). Oral anticoagulant use increased to 79.7% when the 758 inactive atrial fibrillation patients were also eliminated from the analysis (P <.0001 compared with baseline). In the active high-risk atrial fibrillation group, there was no significant difference in the use of oral anticoagulants between men (80.7%) and women (78.8%) with a CHA2DS2-VASc ≥2, or in women with a CHA2DS2-VASc ≥3 (79.9%). Conclusions: Current registries and health system health records with unadjudicated diagnoses over-report the number of high-risk atrial fibrillation patients not taking oral anticoagulants. Expert adjudication identifies a smaller treatment gap than previously described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e366-e373
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Oral Anticoagulation Use in High-Risk Patients Is Improved by Elimination of False-Positive and Inactive Atrial Fibrillation Cases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this