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Effects of prescribed antithrombotics and other cardiovascular pharmacotherapies on all-cause mortality in patients with diabetes and atrial fibrillation – a cohort study from Sweden using propensity score analyses

Per Wändell1*, Axel C Carlsson12, Jan Sundquist34, Sven-Erik Johansson3, Matteo Bottai5 and Kristina Sundquist34

Author Affiliations

1 Centre for Family Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Alfred Nobels Allé 12, S-141 83 Huddinge, Sweden

2 Geriatrics, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

3 Center for Primary Health Care Research, Lund University/Region Skåne, Malmö, Sweden

4 Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA, USA

5 Unit of Biostatistics, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

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Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome 2014, 6:2  doi:10.1186/1758-5996-6-2

Published: 7 January 2014



To study mortality rates among patients with diabetes and concomitant atrial fibrillation (AF), prescribed different cardiovascular drugs in primary health care.


Study population consisted of men (n = 1319) and women (n = 1094) aged ≥45 years from a database including 75 primary care centres in Sweden. Cox regression analysis, with hazard ratios (HRs), 95% confidence interval (95% CIs) and mortality (years to death) as outcome, and Laplace regression, with difference in time to first 10% mortality (with 95% CI), were performed. Independent variables were prescribed cardiovascular drugs. Regression models were adjusted for a propensity score calculated separately for each prescribed drug class (comprising age, cardiovascular co-morbidities, education, marital status and pharmacotherapy).


Overall mortality was lower in the whole sample for anticoagulants vs no treatment (HR 0.45; 95% CI 0.26-0.77); and among patients < 80 years for anticoagulants vs. antiplatelets (HR 0.44; 95% CI 0.25-0.78); while among individuals aged ≥80 years, antiplatelets (HR 0.47; 95% CI 0.26-0.87) and anticoagulants (HR 0.49; 95% CI 0.24-1.00) vs. no treatment were equally effective. Statins were associated with lower mortality among those <80 years (HR 0.45; 95% CI 0.29-0.71). Laplace regression models in the whole sample, with years to first 10% of total mortality as outcome, were significant for: among patients < 80 years anticoagulants vs. no treatment 2.70 years (95% CI 0.04-5.37), anticoagulants vs. antiplatelets 2.31 years (95% CI 0.84-3.79), and those ≥80 antiplatelets vs. no treatment 1.78 years (95% CI 1.04-2.52).


Our findings suggest that antiplatelets could exert a beneficial effect among those above 80 years.

Antithrombotic drugs; Statins; Pharmacotherapy; Mortality; Follow-up