Statins and the risk of bleeding in patients taking dabigatran

Bo Lin Ho, Ya Ju Lin, Sheng Feng Lin, Ping Song Chou, Chien Fu Chen, Ruey Tay Lin, Han Hwa Hu, A. Ching Chao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Dabigatran etexilate is a direct thrombin inhibitor that clinicians increasingly prescribe to prevent stroke in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF). Clinicians also commonly prescribe statins for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Little is known about the bleeding risk in patients taking a statin and dabigatran together. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and persistence of dabigatran after co-medication with statins. Materials and Methods: We performed a prospective, multicenter registry study of stroke patients with NVAF who initiated dabigatran therapy within 3 months after a clinically evident ischemic cerebrovascular event between 2013 and 2017. The main outcome measure was symptomatic bleeding after 90, 180, and 360 days. Results: In total, 652 patients (336 statin users, 316 non-users) were followed for 1 year after dabigatran therapy. Cox multivariate analysis demonstrated that male sex, prior use of aspirin, and concurrent use of an antiarrhythmic drug were associated with a higher risk of bleeding at 360 days. After adjusting time-dependent covariates, statin users had a significantly lower bleeding risk (adjusted hazard ratio: 0.11, P < 0.001) than non-users. Kaplan-Meier analysis indicated that patients prescribed with statins had a higher rate of bleeding-free survival (P = 0.028). Conclusion: For secondary prevention of stroke in patients with NVAF who are taking dabigatran etexilate, co-prescription with a statin was associated with a lower risk of bleeding complications. Future research is needed to determine the pharmacological mechanism underlying this effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-461
Number of pages7
JournalActa Neurologica Scandinavica
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2019


  • anticoagulant
  • atrial fibrillation
  • bleeding
  • co-medication
  • dabigatran
  • statin
  • Prospective Studies
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors/administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Male
  • Stroke/etiology
  • Hemorrhage/epidemiology
  • Polypharmacy
  • Dabigatran/administration & dosage
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Aged
  • Antithrombins/administration & dosage
  • Atrial Fibrillation/complications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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