Open Medicine (Nov 2023)

Prescribing patterns in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and atrial fibrillation

  • Liao Kuang-Ming,
  • Chen Pei-Jun,
  • Chen Chung-Yu

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 18, no. 1
pp. 11 – 7


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Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) had higher risk of atrial fibrillation (AF). The treatment of AF includes medicines to control heart rate and reduce the risk of stroke, and procedures such as cardioversion to restore normal heart rhythm. To reduce the stroke, patients with AF may prescribe some type of antithrombotic medication (such as warfarin, one of the new non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants [NOACs] – dabigitran, apixaban, rivoraxaban, or edoxaban) or maybe aspirin. The aim of our study was to exam the prescription pattern in patients with COPD and AF. We selected COPD population in Taiwan older than 40 years and less than 90 years old with an COPD diagnosis at least two outpatient claims or at least one inpatient claim coded and also need at least one prescription of bronchodilators. We followed this COPD cohort until they have AF and their prescription pattern. We included 267,740 patients with COPD who meet the inclusion and exclusion criteria and 6,582 patients concomitant with COPD and AF. The mean age was 75 years, and about 77% of the patients were older than 70 years. Three-fourths of patients with COPD were male. The common comorbidities were hypertension (17.58%), diabetes (7.47%), ischemic heart disease (4.66%), and dyslipidemia (3.68%). we found that most patients received aspirin which accounting for 31%, followed by coumadin (8.22%) and clopidogrel. Prescribing NOAC within 30 days after AF diagnosis was low in patients with COPD and the percentage of NOAC usage was also lower than warfarin.