D. Acanfora, M.M. Ciccone, V. Carlomagno, P. Scicchitano, C. Acanfora, A.S. Bortone, M. Uguccioni and G. Casucci

J. Clin. Med. 201, 10, 2924. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10132924


Diabetes mellitus represents an independent risk factor for chronic AF and is associated with unfavorable outcomes. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), with and without diabetes mellitus (DM), using a new risk index (RI) defined as: RI=Rate of events/rate of patients at risk. In particular, an RI lower than 1 suggests a favorable treatment effect. We searched MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process, EMBASE, PubMed, and the Cochrane Central Register of controlled trials. The risk index (Ri) was calculated in terms of efficacy (rate of stroke/systemic embolism (stroke SEE)/rate of patients with and without DM; rate of cardiovascular death/rate of patients with and without DM) and safety (rate of major bleeding/rate of patients with and without DM) outcomes. AF patients with DM (n=22,057) and 49,596 without DM were considered from pivotal trials. DM doubles the risk index for stroke/SEE, major bleeding (MB), and cardiovascular (CV) death. The RI for stroke/SEE, MB, and CV death was comparable in patients treated with warfarin or DOACs. The lowest RI was n DM patients treated with Rivaroxaban (stroke/SEE, RI= 0.08; CV death, RI= 0,13). The RIs for bleedng were higher in DM patients treated with Dabigatran (RI110=0.32; RI150=0.40). Our study is the first to use RI to homogenize the efficacy and safety data reported in the DOACs pivotal studies against warfarin in patients with and without DM. Anticoagulation therapy is effective and safe in DM patients. DOACs appear to have a better efficacy and safety profile than warfarin. The use of DOACs isa a reasonable alternative to vitamin-k antagonists in AF patients with DM. The RI can be a reasonable tool to help clinicians choose between DOACs or warfarin in the peculiar set of AF patients with DM.