Outpatient Prescription Practices in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation (From the NCDR PINNACLE Registry)

Jonathan C. Hsu, Matthew R. Reynolds, Yang Song, Gheorghe Doros, Steven A. Lubitz, Anil K. Gehi, Mintu P. Turakhia, Thomas M. Maddox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This study sought to evaluate inappropriate prescribing practices in an atrial fibrillation (AF) population, as outlined by the 2016 ACC/AHA Clinical Performance and Quality Measures for Adults with Atrial Fibrillation or Atrial Flutter document. The 2016 AF quality measures document specified medications to avoid in certain AF populations, including aspirin and anticoagulant combination therapy in patients without cardiovascular disease, and non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers in patients with reduced ejection fraction. Using data from the NCDR PINNACLE registry, a national outpatient cardiology practice registry, we assessed rates of inappropriate prescription of two types of medications among AF outpatients from 5/1/2008-5/1/2016. Overall rates of inappropriate prescription and variation by practice were calculated. Patient and practice factors associated with inappropriate prescription were assessed in adjusted analyses. A total of 107,759 of 658,250 (16.4%) patients without cardiovascular disease were inappropriately prescribed an antiplatelet and anticoagulant together, and 5,731 of 150,079 (3.8%) patients with reduced ejection fraction were inappropriately prescribed a non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker. Overall, 14.8% of AF patients were prescribed medications that were not recommended. Both patient and practice factors were associated with inappropriate prescribing, and the adjusted practice-level median odds ratio for inappropriate prescription was 1.70 (95% CI: 1.61-1.82), indicating a 70% likelihood that 2 random practices would treat identical AF patients differently. In a large registry of AF patients treated in cardiology practices, overall rates of inappropriate prescription practices, as defined by the 2016 AF quality measures, were relatively low, but significant practice variation was present.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-39
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
StatePublished - Sep 15 2021


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