Yunwen Xu 1, Alex R Chang 2, Lesley A Inker 3, Mara McAdams-DeMarco 4,5, Morgan E Grams 1,5,6, Jung-Im Shin 1
1Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD (Y.X., M.E.G., J.-J.S.).
2Division of Nephrology, Geisinger Health System, Danville, PA (A.R.C.).
3Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA (L.A.I.).
4Department of Surgery, New York University Grossman School of Medicine and Langone Health. (M.M.-D.).
5Department of Population Health, New York University Grossman School of Medicine and Langone Health. (M.M.-D., M.E.G.).
6Department of Medicine, New York University Grossman School of Medicine and Langone Health. (M.E.G.).
Correspondence to: Jung-Im Shin, MD, PhD
Background: Recommendations for apixaban dosing on the basis of kidney function are inconsistent between the US Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency for patients with atrial fibrillation. Optimal apixaban dosing in chronic kidney disease remains unknown.
Methods: With the use of deidentified electronic health record data from the Optum Labs Data Warehouse, patients with atrial fibrillation and chronic kidney disease stage 4/5 initiating apixaban between 2013 and 2021 were identified. Risks of bleeding and stroke/systemic embolism were compared by apixaban dose (5 versus 2.5 mg), adjusted for baseline characteristics by the inverse probability of treatment weighting. The Fine-Gray subdistribution hazard model was used to account for the competing risk of death. Cox regression was used to examine risk of death by apixaban dose.
Results: Among 4313 apixaban new users, 1705 (40%) received 5 mg and 2608 (60%) received 2.5 mg. Patients treated with 5 mg apixaban were younger (mean age, 72 versus 80 years), with greater weight (95 versus 80 kg) and higher serum creatinine (2.7 versus 2.5 mg/dL). Mean estimated glomerular filtration rate was not different between the groups (24 versus 24 mL·min-1·1.73 m-2). In inverse probability of treatment weighting analysis, apixaban 5 mg was associated with a higher risk of bleeding (incidence rate 4.9 versus 2.9 events per 100 person-years; incidence rate difference, 2.0 [95% CI, 0.6-3.4] events per 100 person-years; subdistribution hazard ratio, 1.63 [95% CI, 1.04-2.54]). There was no difference between apixaban 5 mg and 2.5 mg groups in the risk of stroke/systemic embolism (3.3 versus 3.0 events per 100 person-years; incidence rate difference, 0.2 [95% CI, -1.0 to 1.4] events per 100 person-years; subdistribution hazard ratio, 1.01 [95% CI, 0.59-1.73]), or death (9.9 versus 9.4 events per 100 person-years; incidence rate difference, 0.5 [95% CI, -1.6 to 2.6] events per 100 person-years; hazard ratio, 1.03 [95% CI, 0.77-1.38]).
Conclusions: Compared with 2.5 mg, use of 5 mg apixaban was associated with a higher risk of bleeding in patients with atrial fibrillation and severe chronic kidney disease, with no difference in the risk of stroke/systemic embolism or death, supporting the apixaban dosing recommendations on the basis of kidney function by the European Medicines Agency, which differ from those issued by the US Food and Drug Administration.