PowerPoint Slides for: Patients' Characteristics Affect the Survival Benefit of Warfarin Treatment for Hemodialysis Patients with Atrial Fibrillation. A Historical Cohort Study

<br><strong><em>Background:</em></strong> Stroke prevention in dialysis-dependent patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) is an unresolved clinical dilemma. Indeed, no randomized controlled trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of oral anticoagulants in this population, has been conducted so far. Observational research on the use of warfarin in patients on dialysis has shown conflicting results. This uncertainty is mirrored by the wide variations in warfarin prescription patterns across centers. We sought to evaluate the association between the use of vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) and mortality among hemodialysis patient with AF and to assess potential factors affecting the risk-benefit profile of warfarin in this population. <b><i>Methods:</i></b> A total of 91,987 patients registered in the European Clinical Dialysis Database® system from January 2004 to January 2015. Of which, 9,238 patients were identified with a diagnosis of AF. After excluding ineligible patients, a 1:1 propensity score matched cohort of 1,324 warfarin users and non-users were assembled. <b><i>Results:</i></b> VKA use was associated with both increased 90-day survival (hazard ratio, HR 0.47, p < 0.01) and 6-year survival (HR 0.76, p < 0.01); however, a trend indicated a stronger early benefit (p for time-interaction <0.01). Moderation analysis showed that patients' age and clinical history of stroke strongly influenced warfarin-related benefits on survival. <b><i>Conclusion:</i></b> VKA may provide an early survival benefit; however, this is partially offset later during the follow-up. In addition, heterogeneous risk-benefit profiles were observed among subgroups of dialysis-dependent patients with AF, further emphasizing the complexities of tailoring stroke prevention strategies in this population.