Web search popularity, publicity, and utilization of direct oral anticoagulants in the United States, 2008-2018: A STROBE-compliant study

Panayiotis D. Ziakas, Eleftherios Mylonakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We aimed to study the changing popularity of oral anticoagulants and the potential association between media coverage and real-world utilization practice, using time series analysis.In this STROBE-compliant study, we used Google Trends data to study public interest for direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) (dabigatran, rivaroxaban, apixaban, and edoxaban) and warfarin in the United States (10-year coverage, beginning July 1st, 2008 ending June 30th, 2018). We validated our findings on a sample of 50 consecutive datasets (accumulated between July 6th, 2018 and October 19th, 2018), using the same search criteria. We used the LexisNexis Academic database to quantify monthly media coverage for DOACs and explored its association with interest by the public, using the cross-correlation coefficient function. Finally, we studied the association between public interest and real-world utilization data, including published US-wide data on ambulatory anticoagulation visits.The approval of dabigatran in 2010 marked an increasing public interest for DOACs. Dabigatran exhibited a steep rise early after Food and Drug Administration approval that peaks in 2011, to be surpassed sequentially by rivaroxaban (2012) and apixaban (2014). Apixaban has outperformed its competitors in popularity since mid-2017, and, by the end of the observation period, was close to warfarin that is on first place. Media coverage was low before approval of the first oral DOAC (dabigatran), increased thereafter (median 13 news articles per month vs 64, P < .001), with peaks on the approval dates (81 vs 48, P = .003). Media coverage had a weak immediate impact on DOACs public interest and public interest patterns preceded changes in ambulatory anticoagulation visits by up to 5 months.For a long-run observation period, a single Google Trends search will suffice to produce robust estimations of the relative popularity between treatment options, such as oral anticoagulants. Media coverage has limited immediate impact and relative public interest is a potential lead indicator of changes in actual utilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E20005
JournalMedicine (United States)
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 8 2020


  • media coverage
  • oral anticoagulants
  • popularity
  • publicity
  • trends
  • utilization
  • warfarin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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