Direct-acting oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are widely used in aged Japanese patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), but outcome data for such patients are limited. We compared outcomes between 1895 (58.5%) patients aged < 75 years (non-elderly), 1078 (33.3%) 75–84 years (elderly) and 264 (8.2%) ≥ 85 years (very elderly) enrolled in a prospective multicenter registry. Kaplan–Meier analysis (median follow-up: 39.3 months) revealed a significantly high incidence of stroke/systemic embolism (SE) among the very elderly relative to that among the non-elderly or elderly (3.2 vs. 1.2 and 1.5 events per 100 patient-years, p < 0.001). Major bleeding in the non-elderly group was significantly infrequent relative to that among the elderly or very elderly group (1.1 vs. 1.6 vs. 1.8 events, p = 0.033). After multivariate adjustment, the stroke/SE incidence was comparable between DOAC and warfarin users, regardless of age, but major bleeding decreased significantly among very elderly DOAC users (adjusted HR 0.220, 95% CI 0.042–0.920). The greater increasing incidence of stroke/SE than major bleeding as patients age suggests that stroke prevention should outweigh the bleeding risk when anticoagulants are being considered for aged patients. Our data indicated that DOACs can be a therapeutic option for stroke prevention in very elderly patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2021-2030
Number of pages10
JournalHeart and Vessels
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Aged
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Direct oral anticoagulant
  • Warfarin


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