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Hospital team significantly reduced risk of further vascular events after 'mini strokes'
Date:10/27/2011

break up blood clots in the case of recurrent stroke. The other patients were seen in the outpatients department within three days of referral.

All the patients seen by the team received acute treatment with antithrombotic and cholesterol lowering drugs and were offered fast-track surgery if they had carotid stenosis. Follow-up included nurse-conducted health counselling after seven, 90 and 365 days. Each contact included the importance of secondary prevention, such as drug compliance and stopping smoking.

Key findings of the study included:

  • Just under two-thirds of the patients were admitted immediately after their TIA (65%) with the rest being seen as outpatients. Inpatient stays averaged one day.
  • Over half (58%) were seen within 24 hours of their TIA and 70% within 24 hours of the call for attention. The figures at one week were 76% and 89% respectively.
  • Just over 5% had a stroke, non-fatal heart attack or died from a vascular event within a year of their TIA.
  • The cumulated stroke risk was calculated and compared with the ABCD2 score, an established method of identifying individuals with a high early risk of stroke after a TIA. The actual scores in the Aarhus study were 1.6% and 2% after seven and 90 days, significantly lower than the ABCD2 predicted stroke scores of 4.5% and 7.5%.
  • Early surgery to remove the build up of plaque in the carotid blood vessels was performed in 8.5% of patients. However, the authors believe this only played a minor role in the reduced risk.
  • The majority of the patients (95%) fulfilled at least one secondary prevention measure: reduced blood pressure, reduced cholesterol, no smoking and self-reported adherence to antithrombotic treatment. 48% achieved three out of the four targets.
  • Most of the patients (93%) adhered to their antithrombotic treatment.
  • More than 60% of the patients who smoked at the time of their TIA changed their smoking habits - 31% quit
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Contact: Annette Whibley
annette.wizard@gmail.com
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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