Background The optimal anticoagulant for end-stage renal disease patients for stroke prophylaxis is unknown. The efficacy and safety of warfarin in this population are debatable. In addition, real-world evidence of direct oral anticoagulants in patients with end-stage renal disease is limited. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical outcomes of rivaroxaban compared with warfarin in Taiwanese patients with end-stage renal disease with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation in a real-world setting. Methods and results This was a retrospective population-based cohort study conducted using Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database. Patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation and endstage renal disease who started on rivaroxaban or warfarin between February 2013 and September 2017 were eligible to participate in the study. The inverse probability of treatment weighting approach was used to balance baseline characteristics. Bleeding and thromboembolic outcomes were compared using competing risk analyses. The study population consisted of 3358 patients (173 and 3185 patients on rivaroxaban and warfarin, respectively). In the rivaroxaban group, 50.8%, 38.7%, and 10.4% of the patients received 10, 15, and 20 mg of the drug, respectively. The cumulative incidence of major bleeding was similar between the two groups; however, the gastrointestinal bleeding rate was lower in the rivaroxaban group (adjusted subdistribution hazard ratio [SHR]: 0.56, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.34-0.91) than in the warfarin group. Furthermore, the composite risk of ischemic stroke or systemic embolism was significantly lower in the rivaroxaban group (adjusted SHR: 0.36, 95% CI: 0.17-0.79). Similar findings were observed for patients who received 10 mg of rivaroxaban. Conclusions In Taiwanese patients with end-stage renal disease and nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, rivaroxaban may be associated with a similar risk of major bleeding but a lower risk of thromboembolism compared with warfarin. The potential benefit of 10 mg of rivaroxaban in this population requires further investigation.
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