Association of income and educational levels with adherence to direct oral anticoagulant therapy in patients with incident atrial fibrillation: A Finnish nationwide cohort study

Konsta Teppo*, Jussi Jaakkola, Fausto Biancari, Olli Halminen, Miika Linna, Jari Haukka, Jukka Putaala, Paula Tiili, Ossi Lehtonen, Mikko Niemi, Pirjo Mustonen, Janne Kinnunen, Juha Hartikainen, K. E.Juhani Airaksinen, Mika Lehto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Low socioeconomic status has been associated with poor outcomes in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). However, little is known about socioeconomic disparities in adherence to stroke prevention with direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs). We assessed the hypothesis that AF patients with higher income or educational levels have better adherence to DOACs in terms of treatment implementation and persistence. The used nationwide registry-based FinACAF cohort covers all patients with incident AF starting DOACs in Finland during 2011–2018. The implementation analyses included 74 222 (mean age 72.7 ± 10.5 years, 50.8% female) patients, and persistence analyses included 67 503 (mean age 75.3 ± 8.9 years, 53.6% female) patients with indication for permanent anticoagulation (CHA2DS2-VASc score >1 in men and >2 in women). Patients were divided into income quartiles and into three categories based on their educational attainment. Therapy implementation was measured using the medication possession ratio (MPR), and patients with MPR ≥0.90 were defined adherent. Persistence was measured as the incidence of therapy discontinuation, defined as the first 135-day period without DOAC purchases after drug initiation. Patients with higher income or education were consistently more likely adherent to DOACs in the implementation phase (comparing the highest income or educational category to the lowest: adjusted odds ratios 1.18 (1.12–1.25) and 1.21 (1.15–1.27), respectively). No association with income or educational levels was observed on the incidence of therapy discontinuation. In conclusion, we observed that income and educational levels both have independent positive association on the implementation of DOAC therapy but no association on therapy persistence in patients with AF.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00961
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalPharmacology Research and Perspectives
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • adherence
  • atrial fibrillation
  • direct oral anticoagulants
  • educational level
  • income
  • persistence
  • socioeconomic status

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