Effect of Digoxin vs Bisoprolol for Heart Rate Control in Atrial Fibrillation on Patient-Reported Quality of Life: The RATE-AF Randomized Clinical Trial.

Kotecha, Dipak, Bunting, Karina V, Gill, Simrat K, Mehta, Samir, Stanbury, Mary, Jones, Jacqueline C, Haynes, Sandra, Calvert, Melanie J, Deeks, Jonathan J, Steeds, Richard Paul, Strauss, Victoria Y, Rahimi, Kazem, Camm, A John, Griffith, Michael, Lip, Gregory Y H, Townend, Jonathan N and Kirchhof, Paulus (2020) Effect of Digoxin vs Bisoprolol for Heart Rate Control in Atrial Fibrillation on Patient-Reported Quality of Life: The RATE-AF Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA, 324 (24). pp. 2497-2508. ISSN 1538-3598. This article is available to all UHB staff and students via ASK Discovery tool http://tinyurl.com/z795c8c by using their UHB Athens login IDs

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Official URL: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/

Abstract

Importance

There is little evidence to support selection of heart rate control therapy in patients with permanent atrial fibrillation, in particular those with coexisting heart failure.

Objective

To compare low-dose digoxin with bisoprolol (a β-blocker).

Design, Setting, and Participants

Randomized, open-label, blinded end-point clinical trial including 160 patients aged 60 years or older with permanent atrial fibrillation (defined as no plan to restore sinus rhythm) and dyspnea classified as New York Heart Association class II or higher. Patients were recruited from 3 hospitals and primary care practices in England from 2016 through 2018; last follow-up occurred in October 2019.

Interventions

Digoxin (n = 80; dose range, 62.5-250 μg/d; mean dose, 161 μg/d) or bisoprolol (n = 80; dose range, 1.25-15 mg/d; mean dose, 3.2 mg/d).

Main Outcomes and Measures

The primary end point was patient-reported quality of life using the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey physical component summary score (SF-36 PCS) at 6 months (higher scores are better; range, 0-100), with a minimal clinically important difference of 0.5 SD. There were 17 secondary end points (including resting heart rate, modified European Heart Rhythm Association [EHRA] symptom classification, and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide [NT-proBNP] level) at 6 months, 20 end points at 12 months, and adverse event (AE) reporting.

Results

Among 160 patients (mean age, 76 [SD, 8] years; 74 [46%] women; mean baseline heart rate, 100/min [SD, 18/min]), 145 (91%) completed the trial and 150 (94%) were included in the analysis for the primary outcome. There was no significant difference in the primary outcome of normalized SF-36 PCS at 6 months (mean, 31.9 [SD, 11.7] for digoxin vs 29.7 [11.4] for bisoprolol; adjusted mean difference, 1.4 [95% CI, -1.1 to 3.8]; P = .28). Of the 17 secondary outcomes at 6 months, there were no significant between-group differences for 16 outcomes, including resting heart rate (a mean of 76.9/min [SD, 12.1/min] with digoxin vs a mean of 74.8/min [SD, 11.6/min] with bisoprolol; difference, 1.5/min [95% CI, -2.0 to 5.1/min]; P = .40). The modified EHRA class was significantly different between groups at 6 months; 53% of patients in the digoxin group reported a 2-class improvement vs 9% of patients in the bisoprolol group (adjusted odds ratio, 10.3 [95% CI, 4.0 to 26.6]; P < .001). At 12 months, 8 of 20 outcomes were significantly different (all favoring digoxin), with a median NT-proBNP level of 960 pg/mL (interquartile range, 626 to 1531 pg/mL) in the digoxin group vs 1250 pg/mL (interquartile range, 847 to 1890 pg/mL) in the bisoprolol group (ratio of geometric means, 0.77 [95% CI, 0.64 to 0.92]; P = .005). Adverse events were less common with digoxin; 20 patients (25%) in the digoxin group had at least 1 AE vs 51 patients (64%) in the bisoprolol group (P < .001). There were 29 treatment-related AEs and 16 serious AEs in the digoxin group vs 142 and 37, respectively, in the bisoprolol group.

Conclusions and Relevance

Among patients with permanent atrial fibrillation and symptoms of heart failure treated with low-dose digoxin or bisoprolol, there was no statistically significant difference in quality of life at 6 months. These findings support potentially basing decisions about treatment on other end points.

Trial Registration

ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02391337 and clinicaltrialsregister.eu Identifier: 2015-005043-13.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is available to all UHB staff and students via ASK Discovery tool http://tinyurl.com/z795c8c by using their UHB Athens login IDs
Subjects: W Public health. Health statistics. Occupational health. Health education
WA Patients. Primary care. Medical profession. Forensic medicine
WG Cardiovascular system. Cardiology
Divisions: Emergency Services > Cardiology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Jamie Edgar
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2021 11:43
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2021 11:43
URI: http://www.repository.uhblibrary.co.uk/id/eprint/3942

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