A quarter of stroke patients discontinue one or more of their prescribed secondary stroke prevention medications within three months of hospitalisation for an acute stroke, finds a study.
Dr. Cheryl D. Bushnell Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Winston-Salem, N.C., and colleagues analysed data from the Adherence Evaluation After Ischemic Stroke-Longitudinal (AVAIL) Registry to measure secondary prevention medication persistence in stroke patients from hospital discharge to three months.
"The assessment of and reasons for non-persistence at three months post-stroke are important because the risk of recurrent stroke is greatest during this period," said the authors.
The authors studied 2,598 patients 18 years or older who had been admitted to 106 U.S. hospitals with ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack.
Patients were asked a series of standardized questions regarding their medication use three months after hospital discharge.
Those reporting continued use of a therapy or class of therapies from hospital discharge through three months were described as "persistent."
The authors found that, "of those treated, 75.5 percent were persistent with all the medications prescribed by their physician."
Additionally, further analysis showed that nearly 20 percent of patients were taking at least half of their prescribed medications, while 3.5 percent of patients were taking none of their medications at three months.
The report will be posted online and will appear in the December print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.