Findings presented at the 2018 American Heart Association meeting demonstrated that non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AFib) patients taking rivaroxaban (Xarelto, Jannsen) had a lower risk of stroke when compared to patients taking warfarin.

According to the results of a retrospective study that included 6,876 and 13,597 patients initiated on rivaroxaban or warfarin respectively, who were de-identified from the Optum Clinformatics® Database (2011-2017), the rivaroxaban cohort "had a significantly lower risk of 27% for stroke across all stroke severities (HR=0.63, P<.01); specifically, a 62% lower risk (HR = 0.38, p=0.03) for more severe stroke (NIHSS ≥16). The rivaroxaban cohort was associated with 64% lower risk (HR=0.36, P<.01) for 30-day post-stroke mortality relative to the warfarin cohort," according to the study abstract. 

The data back earlier findings, published in the ROCKET-AF trial, which showed rivaroxaban-treated patients were better protected against more severe stroke and 30-day post-stroke mortality, compared to warfarin. The study was sponsored by Janssen.

First approved by the FDA in 2011, the oral anticoagulant was recently given the green light for an indication to reduce the risk of major cardiovascular (CV) events, such as death, myocardial infarction (MI), and stroke, in people with chronic coronary or peripheral artery disease (CAD/PAD). The agency’s approval makes Xarelto the first and only Factor Xa inhibitor with the FDA’s backing for patients living with these conditions, according to a statement from Janssen.

Alberts M Lin JH, Chen YW, et al. Sa4280 / 4280 - Risk Reduction of Stroke and Early Post-Stroke Mortality in Patients With Non-Valvular Atrial Fibrillation (NVAF): A Comparison of Rivaroxaban vs Warfarin [Session ST.APS.02] Presented at: the American Heart Association 2018 Scientific Sessions; November 10-12, 2018; Chicago, IL.