Racial and Ethnic Differences in Response to Anticoagulation: A Review of the Literature

Caitlin M. Gibson, Wei C. Yuet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Introduction: Anticoagulants are among the most frequently prescribed medications in the United States. Racial and ethnic disparities in incidence and outcomes of thrombotic disorders are well-documented, but differences in response to anticoagulation are incompletely understood. Objective: The objective of this review is to describe the impact of race and ethnicity on surrogate and clinical end points related to anticoagulation and discuss racial or ethnic considerations for prescribing anticoagulants. Methods: A PubMed and MEDLINE search of clinical trials published between 1950 and May 2018 was conducted using search terms related to anticoagulation, specific anticoagulant drugs, race, and ethnicity. References of identified studies were also reviewed. English-language human studies on safety or efficacy of anticoagulants reporting data for different races or ethnicities were eligible for inclusion. Results: Seventeen relevant studies were identified. The majority of major trials reviewed for inclusion either did not include representative populations or did not report on the racial breakdown of participants. Racial differences in pharmacokinetics, dosing requirements, drug response, and/or safety end points were identified for unfractionated heparin, enoxaparin, argatroban, warfarin, rivaroxaban, and edoxaban. Conclusions: Race appears to influence drug concentrations, dosing, or safety for some but not all direct oral anticoagulants. This information should be considered when selecting anticoagulant therapy for nonwhite individuals.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Pharmacy Practice
StateAccepted/In press - 2019


  • DOACs
  • anticoagulants
  • anticoagulation
  • heparin
  • race
  • racial disparities
  • thrombotic disorders
  • warfarin


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