European Heart Journal (2022) 00, 1–3
The increasing ageing of the general population has led to a significant burden of multimorbidity in the general population, requiring significant changes to healthcare and management, as well as clinical approaches. Hence, increasing attention to the progressively increasing burden of multimorbidity and the need for more integrated care management in patients with chronic long-term conditions. Even in the most common heart rhythm disorder, atrial fibrillation (AF), the presence of multimorbidity has proven to significantly influence clinical management and prognosis.
BMC Med 20, 326 (2022)
Clinical complexity is increasingly prevalent among patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). The ‘Atrial fibrillation Better Care’ (ABC) pathway approach has been proposed to streamline a more holistic and integrated approach to AF care; however, there are limited data on its usefulness among clinically complex patients. We aim to determine the impact of ABC pathway in a contemporary cohort of clinically complex AF patients.
From the ESC-EHRA EORP-AF General Long-Term Registry, we analysed clinically complex AF patients, defined as the presence of frailty, multimorbidity and/or polypharmacy. A K-medoids cluster analysis was performed to identify different groups of clinical complexity. The impact of an ABC-adherent approach on major outcomes was analysed through Cox-regression analyses and delay of event (DoE) analyses.
Among 9966 AF patients included, 8289 (83.1%) were clinically complex. Adherence to the ABC pathway in the clinically complex group reduced the risk of all-cause death (adjusted HR [aHR]: 0.72, 95%CI 0.58–0.91), major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs; aHR: 0.68, 95%CI 0.52–0.87) and composite outcome (aHR: 0.70, 95%CI: 0.58–0.85). Adherence to the ABC pathway was associated with a significant reduction in the risk of death (aHR: 0.74, 95%CI 0.56–0.98) and composite outcome (aHR: 0.76, 95%CI 0.60–0.96) also in the high-complexity cluster; similar trends were observed for MACEs. In DoE analyses, an ABC-adherent approach resulted in significant gains in event-free survival for all the outcomes investigated in clinically complex patients. Based on absolute risk reduction at 1 year of follow-up, the number needed to treat for ABC pathway adherence was 24 for all-cause death, 31 for MACEs and 20 for the composite outcome.
An ABC-adherent approach reduces the risk of major outcomes in clinically complex AF patients. Ensuring adherence to the ABC pathway is essential to improve clinical outcomes among clinically complex AF patients.
Thromb Haemost 2022; 122(12): 2030-2041
Clinical complexity is common in atrial fibrillation (AF) patients. We assessed the impact of clinical complexity on oral anticoagulant (OAC) treatment patterns and major adverse outcomes in a contemporary cohort of AF patients.
The GLORIA-AF Phase II and III Registry enrolled newly diagnosed AF patients with at least one stroke risk factor. Among patients with CHA2DS2-VASc score ≥2, we defined four domains of perceived clinical complexity: frail elderly (age ≥75 years and body mass index <23 kg/m2), chronic kidney disease (CKD, creatinine clearance <60 mL/min), history of bleeding, and those with ≥2 of the above conditions. We evaluated the associations between clinical complexity domains and antithrombotic treatment prescription, risk of OAC discontinuation, and major adverse outcomes.
Among the 29,625 patients included (mean age 69.6 ± 10.7 years, 44.2% females), 9,504 (32.1%) presented with at least one complexity criterion. Clinical complexity was associated with lower OAC prescription, with stronger associations in frail elderly (odds ratio [OR]: 0.47, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.36–0.62) and those with ≥2 complexity domains (OR: 0.50, 95% CI: 0.44–0.57). Risk of OAC discontinuation was higher among frail elderly (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.30, 95% CI: 1.00–1.69), CKD (HR: 1.10, 95% CI: 1.02–1.20), and those with ≥2 complexity domains (HR: 1.39, 95% CI: 1.23–1.57). Clinical complexity was associated with higher risk of the primary outcome of all-cause death, thromboembolism, and major bleeding, with the highest magnitude in those with ≥2 criteria (HR: 1.63, 95% CI: 1.43–1.86).
In AF patients, clinical complexity influences OAC treatment management, and increases the risk of poor clinical outcomes. These patients require additional efforts, such as integrated care approach, to improve their management and prognosis.