Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Missing opportunities for stroke prevention

Do you know three people who've had a stroke?

Did one of those three have a missed opportunity to prevent a stroke?

Disturbing research from the United Kingdom suggests "missed opportunities" to prescribe drugs for stroke prevention:
Across the UK, that amounts to 33% of all stroke and 'mini-stroke' (transient ischaemic attack, or TIA) patients having a 'missed opportunity' for preventative treatment.
Three types of patients are recommended to have drugs to prevent strokes; patients with high blood pressure, patients who are at high risk of a stroke, and patients with an irregular heartbeat -- called atrial fibrillation.
Guidelines recommend that high blood pressure patients should have drugs to lower blood pressure, high risk patients (people with cardiovascular disease (CVD) or at high risk of CVD) should be prescribed a statin, and patients with atrial fibrillation should have drugs to prevent blood clots (anticoagulants). These treatments all reduce the chances of suffering a stroke or a mini-stroke (transient ischaemic attack or TIA). The findings, published in PLOS Medicine, suggest that they may be underused.
The researchers, from the University of Birmingham, estimate that approximately 12,000 first strokes could be prevented in the UK each year through optimal prescribing of the drugs.
Would be worth knowing if this pattern is the same, better or worse in other places, including the United States. The best way to address a stroke: Prevent it.

(Photo from National Library of Medicine)

No comments: