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Revista Uruguaya de Medicina Interna

versão On-line ISSN 2393-6797


OLAYA MUNOZ, Qandi Xue et al. Adherence and quality of life in patients with atrial fibrillation and heart failure anticoagulated with Apixaban. Rev. Urug. Med. Int. [online]. 2023, vol.8, n.3, pp.59-69.  Epub 01-Dez-2023. ISSN 2393-6797.


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia in patients with heart failure (HF), regardless of ejection fraction, leading to a greater risk of thromboembolic complications. Anticoagulation is one of the fundamental pillars in the treatment of AF, and prior to this, it is recommended to evaluate the embolic risk using the CHA2DS2-VASc score and the bleeding risk with the HAS-BLED score. There are two pharmacological groups of oral anticoagulants (OACs), vitamin K antagonists (VKAs), and direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs). Both groups have advantages and disadvantages in their use. VKAs require frequent monitoring to achieve INR levels within range, a greater number of drug and dietary interactions, leading to lower adherence, satisfaction, and quality of life. Likewise, scientific evidence supports the non-inferiority of DOACs versus VKAs, being recommended in recent clinical practice guidelines for the prevention of thrombotic events in all patients with AF except in cases where moderate to severe mitral stenosis or mechanical valve replacement coexist. To date, there are no published studies that assess adherence and impact on quality of life with the use of DOACs in HF with AF. Therefore, the objective of this research is to observe changes in adherence and quality of life of patients who were switched from VKA to DOAC, describing the occurrence of thrombotic or hemorrhagic events.


Quasi-experimental, prospective, longitudinal study. All patients over 18 years of age with AF without mechanical valve prosthesis or moderate/severe mitral stenosis, anticoagulated with warfarin with therapeutic range time (TTR) ≤65% and SAMe-T2R ≥2 were included. The Morisky questionnaire was administered to evaluate adherence, and the Anti-Clot Treatment Scale was used to evaluate satisfaction and quality of life. Thrombotic and hemorrhagic risk was evaluated by CHA2DS2-VASc and HAS-BLED. The questionnaires were applied using warfarin and the same questionnaires were repeated after replacing with DOAC for convenience, specifically apixaban. Statistical analysis was performed using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, Cochrane Q test, ANOVA, and STATAv.15.0.


43 patients, 31 of whom were male, 100% had CHA2DS2-VASC >2, 37% had HAS-BLED >3, and 62.8% had SAMe-TT2R2 >2. There was a statistically significant difference (p<0.001) in relation to the use of apixaban in quality of life, disease burden, and positive impact. No thrombotic or hemorrhagic events were observed with the use of apixaban.


A statistically significant difference was observed in adherence, satisfaction, and quality of life with the use of apixaban, without thrombotic or hemorrhagic events.

Palavras-chave : Atrial fibrillation; anticoagulation; quality of life; adherence; apixaban.

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