Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UK doctors still undertreating major risk factor for stroke, study finds

Date:
October 12, 2011
Source:
BMJ Open
Summary:
Despite significant improvements in stroke prevention over the past decade, and a fall in incidence and deaths, UK doctors are still undertreating one of the major risk factors -- atrial fibrillation -- reveals new research.

Despite significant improvements in stroke prevention over the past decade, and a fall in incidence and deaths, UK doctors are still undertreating one of the major risk factors -- atrial fibrillation -- reveals research published in BMJ Open.

Atrial fibrillation, or AF for short, describes abnormal heart rhythms. Its treatment has been prioritised in the NHS in a bid to cut preventable deaths and disability from stroke.

The researchers base their findings on an analysis of stroke data drawn from the General Practice Research Database (GPRD) for the period 1999 to 2008. The GPRD contains long term anonymised data on three million UK primary care patients.

More than 32,000 adults had a stroke, one in seven (15%) of which were fatal, during the study period.

Women were more likely to die of a stroke than men, even after taking account of age. The average age for a first stroke was 77 years for women and 71 years for men.

The figures showed significant improvements both in the number of new cases of stroke and in subsequent survival.

The prevalence of stroke rose by 12.5%, but the number of new cases fell by almost a third (30%) over the decade -- from 1.48 per 1,000 person years in 1999 to 1.04 in 2008.

Among those aged 80 and over, who are at the highest risk of stroke, the fall was even greater, at 42%.

The rate of deaths within 56 days of a first stroke almost halved, falling from one in five (21%) in 1999 to nearly one in 10 (12%) in 2008.

These improvements were paralleled by a consistent rise in prescriptions for preventive drugs, particularly those used to lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, both of which are risk factors for stroke.

But doctors undertreated patients with atrial fibrillation, the findings showed.

Around one in 10 patients had been diagnosed with AF before their first stroke, and this group were at significantly higher risk of death from stroke than those who did not have AF.

But only one in four of all those with AF were prescribed preventive anticoagulant (blood thinning) treatment, with no sign that more serious AF was being targeted.

Women were significantly more likely to have serious AF than men, but they were less likely to be given anticoagulant therapy. This was prescribed for 29% of men with AF, but only 22% of women.

Both men and women with AF were more likely to be prescribed anticoagulants after a first stroke, but while this rose from 29% to 48% of men, it only rose from 22% to 35% of women.

The authors conclude that primary care doctors are tackling the risk factors for stroke much more effectively. "However, there is a clear suggestion that risk stratification is not yet optimal, particularly in relation to patients with AF," they write.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ Open. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sally Lee, Anna C E Shafe, Martin R Cowie. UK stroke incidence, mortality and cardiovascular risk management 1999–2008: time-trend analysis from the General Practice Research Database. BMJ Open, 2011; 1: e000269 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000269

Cite This Page:

BMJ Open. "UK doctors still undertreating major risk factor for stroke, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111012185637.htm>.
BMJ Open. (2011, October 12). UK doctors still undertreating major risk factor for stroke, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111012185637.htm
BMJ Open. "UK doctors still undertreating major risk factor for stroke, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111012185637.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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