Background: To estimate the incidence of hemorrhagic events in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) treated with acenocoumarol, and the management cost of those requiring hospitalization in Greece.
Methods: A nationwide telephone survey was conducted between December 2017 and January 2018, to identify cardiologists who treat AF patients with acenocoumarol. A total of 300 cardiologists were selected and reported the number of AF acenocoumarol-treated patients during the past 12 months and the number of those who experienced a hemorrhagic event. The hospital charges to sickness fund and the cost of resource utilization of AF patients hospitalized between January 2013 and June 2017 at a tertiary hospital in Athens due to acenocoumarol-related bleedings were retrieved.
Results: Out of 48,255 AF patients, 12,633 (26.2%) were treated with acenocoumarol. In all, 5.1% of patients experienced a hemorrhagic event with the incidence of bleeding requiring hospitalization being 1.7%. The most common bleeding site was the gastrointestinal system (51.5%). The mean (95% CI) management cost per bleeding event requiring hospitalization was €1,202 (€1,058-€1,420). The higher cost was that of intracranial bleeding €3,887 (€2,700-€5,046). The expected annual economic burden for the management of bleedings related to acenocoumarol and requiring hospitalization was estimated at €1,463,955.
Conclusions: The incidence of bleeding events in AF acenocoumarol-treated patients in Greece as well as the estimated annual economic burden for the management of bleeding events requiring hospitalization, emphasize the need to comply with the current guidelines and to optimize therapeutic strategies for the management of AF side effects with oral anticoagulants, particularly in patients with high bleeding risk.