OBJECTIVE: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is frequent among patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). The RE-LY trial permits evaluation of patient characteristics, outcomes and the effectiveness of dabigatran etexilate among diabetic individuals.
METHODS: Patient characteristics and outcomes were compared between diabetic and non-diabetic patients and the relative efficacy of each dose of dabigatran (150 mg bid and 110 mg bid) versus warfarin was evaluated.
RESULTS: Of 18,113 patients in RE-LY, 4221 patients (23.3%) had DM. Patients with DM were younger (70.9 vs. 71.7 years), more likely to have hypertension (86.6% vs. 76.5%), coronary artery disease (37.4% vs. 24.9%) and peripheral vascular disease (5.6% vs. 3.2%); (all p < 0.01). Time in therapeutic range for warfarin-treated patients was 65% for diabetic versus 68% for non-diabetic patients (p < 0.001). Regardless of assigned treatment, stroke or systemic embolism was more common among patients with DM (1.9% per year vs. 1.3% per year, p < 0.001). DM was also associated with an increased risk of death (5.1% per year vs. 3.5% per year, p < 0.001) and major bleeding (4.2% per year vs. 3.0% per year, p < 0.001). The absolute reduction in stroke or systemic embolism with dabigatran compared to warfarin was greater among patients with DM than those without DM (dabigatran 110 mg: 0.59% per year vs. 0.05% per year; dabigatran 150 mg: 0.89% per year vs. 0.51% per year).
CONCLUSIONS: Compared to non-DM patients, AF patients with DM derive a greater absolute risk reduction in embolic events when treated with dabigatran. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00262600.