Background and objectives: Most of the French patients diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AF) are managed by general practitioners (GPs). The objective was to evaluate stroke prevention in AF patients ahead of the arrival of the non vitamin K oral anticoagulant in France.
Methods: A cross-sectional study using a French GPs database of all patients with a diagnosis of AF consulting their GP between July-2010 and June-2011. Multivariate analyses were used to identify determinants of prevention prescription.
Results: Among 15,623 AF patients, 42.5 % were ≥75 years and 40.5 % women, 59.2 % had hypertension, 17.2 % diabetes, 11.4 % heart failure, 4.9 % stroke history. CHADS2 score was ≥1 for 83.1 % and ≥2 for 50.9 % of patients (CHA2DS2-VASc score ≥1 for 93.7 % and ≥2 for 82.3 %). Antithrombotic therapies were vitamin K antagonists (VKA) for 50.7 % of patients, followed by aspirin for 19.9 %, clopidogrel ± aspirin for 4.3 % and none for 25.1 %. For patients with CHADS2 scores ≥1, 73.3 % received an antithrombotic and for those with CHADS2 scores ≥2, 54.9 % were treated by a VKA. An age-stratified multivariate analysis showed that women had an odds ratio to be treated with VKA compared to 0.83 (95 % CI: 0.72-0.95) and 0.66 (95 % CI: 0.59-0.74) when aged <75 years and ≥75 years, respectively.
Conclusions: Most AF patients followed by French GPs required stroke prevention according to European guidelines, but many of them did not receive the recommended antithrombotic treatment. Women over 75 were a third less likely to be treated with recommended anticoagulants than men of similar age.