© 2017 The Authors. Background and Purpose - Long-term benefits of initiating stroke prophylaxis in the emergency department (ED) are unknown. We analyzed the long-term safety and benefits of ED prescription of anticoagulation in atrial fibrillation patients. Methods - Prospective, multicenter, observational cohort of consecutive atrial fibrillation patients was performed in 62 Spanish EDs. Clinical variables and thromboprophylaxis prescribed at discharge were collected at inclusion. Follow-up at 1 year post-discharge included data about thromboprophylaxis and its complications, major bleeding, and death; risk was assessed with univariate and bivariate logistic regression models. Results - We enrolled 1162 patients, 1024 (88.1%) at high risk according to CHA2DS2-VASc score. At ED discharge, 935 patients (80.5%) were receiving anticoagulant therapy, de novo in 237 patients (55.2% of 429 not previously treated). At 1 year, 48 (4.1%) patients presented major bleeding events, and 151 (12.9%) had died. Anticoagulation first prescribed in the ED was not related to major bleeding (hazard ratio, 0.976; 95% confidence interval, 0.294-3.236) and was associated with a decrease in mortality (hazard ratio, 0.398; 95% confidence interval, 0.231-0.686). Adjusting by the main clinical and sociodemographic characteristics, concomitant antiplatelet treatment, or destination (discharge or admission) did not affect the results. Conclusions - Prescription of anticoagulation in the ED does not increase bleeding risk in atrial fibrillation patients at high risk of stroke and contributes to decreased mortality.
- atrial fibrillation
- mortality stroke