Importance: Shortened dual antiplatelet therapy followed by potent P2Y12 receptor inhibitor monotherapy reduces bleeding without increasing ischemic events after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).
Objective: To explore sex differences and evaluate the association of sex with outcomes among patients treated with ticagrelor monotherapy vs ticagrelor plus aspirin.
Design, setting, and participants: This was a prespecified secondary analysis of TWILIGHT, an investigator-initiated, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial conducted at 187 sites across 11 countries. Study participants included patients who underwent successful PCI with drug-eluting stents, were planned for discharge with ticagrelor plus aspirin, and who had at least 1 clinical and at least 1 angiographic feature associated with high risk of ischemic or bleeding events. Data were analyzed from May to July 2020.
Interventions: At 3 months after PCI, patients adherent to ticagrelor and aspirin without major adverse event were randomized to either aspirin or placebo for an additional 12 months along with ticagrelor.
Main outcomes and measures: The primary end point was Bleeding Academic Research Consortium (BARC) type 2, 3, or 5 bleeding at 12 months after randomization. The primary ischemic end point was a composite of death, myocardial infarction, or stroke.
Results: Of 9006 enrolled patients, 7119 underwent randomization (mean [SD] age, 63.9 [10.2] years; 5421 [76.1%] men). Women were older (mean [SD] age, 65.5 [9.6] years in women vs 63.4 [10.3] years in men) with higher prevalence of chronic kidney disease (347 women [21.2%] vs 764 men [14.7%]). The primary bleeding end point occurred more often in women than men (hazard ratio [HR], 1.32; 95% CI, 1.06-1.64; P = .01). After multivariate adjustment, incremental bleeding risk associated with female sex was no longer significant (adjusted HR, 1.20; 95% CI, 0.95-1.52; P = .12). Ischemic end points were similar between sexes. Ticagrelor plus placebo vs ticagrelor plus aspirin was associated with lower risk of BARC type 2, 3, or 5 bleeding in women (adjusted HR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.42-0.92; P = .02) and men (adjusted HR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.44-0.73; P < .001; P for interaction = .69). Ischemic end points were similar between treatment groups in both sexes.
Conclusions and relevance: These findings suggest that the higher bleeding risk in women compared with men was mostly attributable to baseline differences, whereas ischemic events were similar between sexes. In this high-risk PCI population, the benefits of early aspirin withdrawal with continuation of ticagrelor were generally comparable in women and men.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02270242.