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Researchers focus on secondary stroke prevention after study reveals room for improvement
Date:9/12/2011

g stroke, assessing compliance issues from the patients' perspective, as well as system and provider issues, such as what type of doctor the patients saw, what kind of follow up care they had and the patients' understanding of their medications and why they were taking them.

The researchers first studied 2,598 patients from the AVAIL Registry to evaluate how many stroke patients were still taking their secondary prevention medications three months after being discharged from the hospital.

The three-month data appeared in the December 2010 issue of Archives of Neurology, and revealed that about 75 percent of those studied had continued with their full regimen of medications usually including an aspirin or other type of blood thinner, blood pressure medication and cholesterol lowering medication three months after discharge.

The one-year data evaluated "persistence," defined as continuation of all secondary stroke prevention medications prescribed at hospital discharge, and "adherence," defined as continuation of all prescribed medications except those stopped according to healthcare provider instructions, to get a true read on whether patients no longer on their medications are discontinuing on their own, or if they are being told by their doctors to stop their secondary prevention regimen.

Of the 2,457 patients who completed one-year interviews, 65.9 percent were "persistent" with their secondary prevention regimen, meaning they were still taking all of the medicines prescribed to them at hospital discharge. Even more patients 86.6 percent were "adherent," following doctor's orders and taking all of their medications except those they had been told to discontinue by their healthcare providers.

Although up to one third of stroke patients were no longer taking one or more of their secondary prevention medications within one year of hospital discharge, most did not stop taking the medications on their own, the study a
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Contact: Jessica Guenzel
jguenzel@wakehealth.edu
336-716-3487
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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