Changes in pre-hospital management of vascular risk factors among patients admitted due to recurrent stroke in Poland from 1995 to 2013
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Submission date: 2015-10-28
Final revision date: 2016-01-20
Acceptance date: 2016-02-01
Online publication date: 2016-07-01
Publication date: 2016-06-30
Arch Med Sci 2016;12(4):754–759
Introduction: The aim of this study was to investigate long-term trends in secondary stroke prevention through management of vascular risk factors directly before hospital admission for recurrent stroke.
Material and methods: This is a retrospective registry-based analysis of consecutive recurrent acute stroke patients from a highly urbanized area (Warsaw, Poland) admitted to a single stroke center between 1995 and 2013 with previous ischemic stroke. We compared between four consecutive time periods: 1995–1999, 2000–2004, 2005–2009 and 2010–2013.
Results: During the study period, 894 patients with recurrent strokes were admitted (18% of all strokes), including 867 with previous ischemic stroke (our study group). Among those patients, the proportion of recurrent ischemic strokes (88.1% to 93.9%) (p = 0.319) and males (44% to 49.7%) (p = 0.5) remained stable. However, there was a rising trend in patients’ age (median age of 73, 74, 76 and 77 years, respectively). There was also an increase in the use of antihypertensives (from 70.2% to 83.8%) (p = 0.013), vitamin K antagonists (from 4.8% to 15.6%) (p = 0.012) and statins (from 32.5% to 59.4%) (p < 0.001). Nonetheless, 21% of patients did not receive any antithrombotic prophylaxis. Tobacco smoking pattern remained unchanged.
Conclusions: Our data indicate a clear overall improvement of secondary stroke prevention. However, persistent use of antithrombotic drugs and tobacco smoking after the first ischemic stroke is constantly suboptimal.