1 in 4 Stroke Patients Stop Medications

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., Aug. 13 (UPI) — Twenty-five percent of stroke patients stop taking one or more of prescribed stroke prevention medications three months after a stroke, U.S. researchers found.

Dr. Cheryl D. Bushnell of Wake Forest University Health Sciences in Winston-Salem, N.C., and colleagues analyzed data from the Adherence Evaluation After Ischemic Stroke–Longitudinal Registry.

The study authors evaluated 2,598 patients age 18 and older who had been admitted to 106 U.S. hospitals with ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack. Those reporting continued use of a therapy or class of therapies from hospital discharge through three months were described as “persistent” for the purposes of the study.

The study, published online ahead of print of the December issue of the Archives of Neurology, found 75.5 percent were persistent with all the medications prescribed by their physician.

However, further analysis found 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.

Patients gave multiple reasons for maintaining the medications, including heart disease treatment, having health insurance, being prescribed fewer discharge medications, having an understanding of why the medications were prescribed and knowing how to refill prescriptions.

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