How reliably do people with arrhythmia take their medication?

Date posted: 
Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Arrhythmia is a condition in which the heart beats with an irregular or abnormal rhythm. Atrial fibrillation, the most common clinically significant arrhythmia, affects over 400,000 Canadians, and is a potent independent risk factor for thromboembolism, particularly stroke.

Although warfarin and novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are widely prescribed for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation (AF) patients, there are major gaps in our understanding of how reliably patients take them in the real-world, how NOACs compare to warfarin and each other, and what patient factors are associated with persistence and adherence to therapy.

Data access has been approved for a study, funded by the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, that will help us to understand how adherence and persistence with these therapies correlates to stroke and major bleeding in AF patients.  

The research project is being led by Dr. Peter Loewen, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia.

“The population of British Columbians with AF is an ideal context to study these important health issues, and BC's administrative databases are an ideal source of information to answer these questions,” says Dr. Loewen. “Our results will enable clinicians and patients to select therapies based on probability of treatment success, generate vital knowledge for patient-focused programs to maximize persistence and adherence, and inform medication use and coverage policies so as to maximize the stroke-reducing potential of these therapies.”

“It is vital from both individual patient care and public pharmaceutical policy viewpoints to have a deeper understanding of the real-world medication taking behavior and associated clinical outcomes and economic implications that this population-based study will provide.”

PopData will link BC Ministry of Health and Vital Statistics Agency data for the project.


Page last revised: April 25, 2018