Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Review of stroke treatment could save lives

Date:
September 30, 2011
Source:
University of New South Wales
Summary:
Doctors are underutilizing crucial medication to prevent deadly strokes in those with a common type of heart condition, new research says, leading to fresh calls for a review of current treatment strategies and more research into stroke prevention.

Researchers say better use of existing medication could prevent disabling strokes, while fresh strategies are needed to assess stroke risk in many younger patients.

Related Articles


Doctors are underutilising crucial medication to prevent deadly strokes in those with a common type of heart condition, new research says, leading to fresh calls for a review of current treatment strategies and more research into stroke prevention.

Stroke is Australia's second biggest killer after coronary heart disease and is a major cause of disability. A new study of over 26,000 stroke patients, has found those with Atrial Fibrillation (AF) -- an irregular heartbeat commonly seen in the elderly -- have a mortality rate almost twice that of other stroke patients.

As many as 90 percent of patients with AF-related stroke do not receive appropriate blood-thinning medication at the time of their stroke. Researchers say a number of fatal and disabling strokes could therefore be prevented through the better use of existing anticoagulant medication.

The study, led by researchers from the University of New South Wales and the Ingham Institute, is published this month in the journal Cerebrovascular Diseases.

It found that patients with AF make up one in four of the most common form of stroke (ischaemic stroke). Patients with AF had twice the chance of dying in hospital and had a mortality rate of 40 per cent, one year after their stroke. Such patients also had much longer hospital stays and were more likely to be disabled. "This is the biggest evidence practice gap in cardiovascular health," lead report author and UNSW conjoint Associate Professor, John Worthington, said.

He said doctors are underutilising anticoagulants because of an excessive concern over bleeding risk, despite "robust guidelines" being in place for treating AF patients who are over 65 years old. Anticoagulants 'thin' the blood to help prevent blood clots that cause ischaemic strokes. There is a small risk that patients on anticoagulants will suffer major bleeding, including the risk of a brain haemorrhage.

The paper also highlights the limitations of existing strategies to accurately predict and prevent stroke among younger AF patients, who account for 10 per cent of young strokes in the study as well as 19 per cent of early deaths. For many of these patients, "their first stroke will be their last," Assoc. Prof. Worthington said.

However, 20-30 per cent of young stroke patients with AF would have been judged as 'low risk' by current practices, and not given anticoagulants. The study calls for "urgent research," with a focus on how to better determine stroke risk in all AF patients and for trials of new and existing anticoagulants in younger AF patients.

Other researchers on the study were Dr Melina Gattellari, Mr Chris Goumas and Mr Robert Aitken. The study was funded by the Federal Department of Health and Ageing and UNSW.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of New South Wales. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of New South Wales. "Review of stroke treatment could save lives." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110930093534.htm>.
University of New South Wales. (2011, September 30). Review of stroke treatment could save lives. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110930093534.htm
University of New South Wales. "Review of stroke treatment could save lives." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110930093534.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins