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Treating speciality impact on stroke prevention care

Treating specialty influences stroke prevention care, and may impact clinical outcomes, in patients with newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation (AF), according to a study1 published recently in the American Heart Journal.

In the TREAT-AF study, researchers used Veterans Health Administration health record and claims data to identify patients with newly diagnosed AF between October 2004 and November 2008, and at least one internal medicine/primary care or cardiology outpatient encounter within 90 days after diagnosis. The primary outcome was prescription of warfarin.

In 141,642 patients, warfarin use was higher in cardiology-treated versus primary care only-treated patients (68.6% vs. 48.9%). After covariate and site-level adjustment, cardiology care was significantly associated with warfarin use. These findings were consistent across a series of adjusted models (odds ratio [OR] 2.05–2.20), propensity matching (OR 1.98), and subgroup analyses (OR 1.58–2.11). Warfarin use in primary-care-only patients declined from 2004 to 2008 (51.6%–44.0%), whereas the adjusted odds of warfarin receipt with cardiology care, versus primary care, increased from 2004 to 2008 (1.88–2.24).


1. Turakhia MP, Hoang DD, Xu X, et al. Differences and trends in stroke prevention anticoagulation in primary care vs cardiology specialty management of new atrial fibrillation: The Retrospective Evaluation and Assessment of Therapies in AF (TREAT-AF) study. Am Heart J 2012.

Published on: December 20, 2012

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  • ArrhythmiaAlliance
  • Stars
  • Anticoagulation Europe
  • Atrial Fibrillation Association

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