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OBJECTIVE: To estimate the incidence and HRs for bleeding for different dual antiplatelet therapies (DAPT) in a real-world population with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in England. DESIGN: A retrospective, population-based cohort study emulating a target randomised controlled trial (tRCT). DATA SOURCES: Linked Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) and Hospital Episode Statistics (HES). SETTING: Primary and secondary care. PARTICIPANTS: Patients ≥18 years old with ACS undergoing emergency PCI. INTERVENTIONS: Aspirin and clopidogrel (AC, reference) versus aspirin and prasugrel (AP) or aspirin and ticagrelor (AT); AP evaluated only in patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary: any bleeding up to 12 months after the index event (HES- or CPRD- recorded). Secondary: HES-recorded bleeding, CPRD-recorded bleeding, all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, mortality from bleeding, myocardial infarction, stroke, additional coronary intervention and major adverse cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events (MACCE). RESULTS: In ACS, the rates of any bleeding for AC and AT were 89 per 1000 person years and 134 per 1000 person years, respectively. In STEMI, rates for AC, AP and AT were 93 per 1000 person years, 138 per 1000 person years and 143 per 100 person years, respectively. In ACS, compared with AC, AT increased the hazard of any bleeding (HR: 1.47, 95% CI 1.19 to 1.82) but did not reduce MACCE (HR: 1.06, 95% CI 0.89 to 1.27). In STEMI, compared with AC, AP and AT increased the hazard of any bleeding (HR: 1.77, 95% CI 1.21 to 2.59 and HR: 1.50, 95% CI 1.10 to 2.05, respectively) but did not reduce MACCE (HR: 1.10, 95% CI 0.80 to 1.51 and HR: 1.21, 95% CI 0.94 to 1.51, respectively). Non-adherence to the prescribed DAPT regimen was 28% in AC (29% in STEMI only), 31% in AP (STEMI only) and 33% in AT (32% in STEMI only). CONCLUSIONS: In a real-world population with ACS, DAPT with ticagrelor or prasugrel are associated with increased bleeding compared with DAPT with clopidogrel. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN76607611.

Original publication




Journal article


Open Heart

Publication Date





acute coronary syndrome, electronic health records, epidemiology, percutaneous coronary intervention, pharmacology, clinical, Acute Coronary Syndrome, Adolescent, Aspirin, Clopidogrel, Cohort Studies, Dinucleoside Phosphates, Hemorrhage, Humans, Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors, Prasugrel Hydrochloride, Retrospective Studies, ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction, Ticagrelor