Use of antihypertensive and antithrombotic medications after stroke in community-based care.
Secondary stroke prevention strategies include pharmacologic approaches to control hypertension and reduce thromboembolic risk.To describe antithrombotic and antihypertensive medication use, and rates of blood pressure control in the Kansas City Stroke Study, a prospective stroke cohort receiving community-based care after primarily mild and moderate stroke.Participants from 12 area hospitals provided information about medication use prior to stroke. Study personnel measured blood pressures at enrollment and at one, three, and six months, and collected medication data at six months during in-home assessment.Complete data at six months were available for 355 subjects with ischemic stroke, among whom 13% had atrial fibrillation and 67% had prior hypertension. Prior to stroke, only 45% of the patients were receiving any antithrombotic (anticoagulant and/or antiplatelet) therapy; this figure rose to 77% at six months. Antithrombotic treatment rates among those with atrial fibrillation were 59% before stroke and 83% at six months, including warfarin in 64%. Approximately 70% of subjects had controlled blood pressures one, three, and six months after stroke, defined as systolic blood pressure < or = 140 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure < or = 90 mm Hg. Use of multiple antihypertensive agents was common; calcium-channel blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors were used most frequently. However, 19% of subjects with uncontrolled blood pressure were untreated at six months.Although room for improvement remains, these data suggest improved rates of antithrombotic and antihypertensive medication use after stroke in community-based care in a midwestern metropolitan community, compared with previous reports.
Rigler, SK; Webb, MJ; Patel, AT; Lai, SM; Duncan, PW
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