Personalizing Direct Oral Anticoagulant Therapy for a Diverse Population: Role of Race, Kidney Function, Drug Interactions, and Pharmacogenetics

Academic Article


  • Oral anticoagulants (OACs) are commonly used to reduce the risk of venous thromboembolism and the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. Endorsed by the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, and the European Society of Cardiology, direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) have displaced warfarin as the OAC of choice for both conditions, due to improved safety profiles, fewer drug–drug and drug–diet interactions, and lack of monitoring requirements. Despite their widespread use and improved safety over warfarin, DOAC-related bleeding remains a major concern for patients. DOACs have stable pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics; however, variability in DOAC response is common and may be attributed to numerous factors, including patient-specific factors, concomitant medications, comorbid conditions, and genetics. Although DOAC randomized controlled trials included patients of varying ages and levels of kidney function, they failed to include patients of diverse ancestries. Additionally, current evidence to support DOAC pharmacogenetic associations have primarily been derived from European and Asian individuals. Given differences in genotype frequencies and disease burden among patients of different biogeographic groups, future research must engage diverse populations to assess and quantify the impact of predictors on DOAC response. Current under-representation of patients from diverse racial groups does not allow for proper generalization of the influence of clinical and genetic factors in relation to DOAC variability. Herein, we discuss factors affecting DOAC response, such as age, sex, weight, kidney function, drug interactions, and pharmacogenetics, while offering a new perspective on the need for further research including frequently excluded groups.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 28372530
  • Author List

  • Thompson LE; Davis BH; Narayan R; Goff B; Brown TM; Limdi NA