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Age Ageing. 2004 May;33(3):280-6.

Secondary prevention for stroke in the United Kingdom: results from the National Sentinel Audit of Stroke.

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Clinical Effectiveness and Evaluation Unit, Royal College of Physicians of London, 11 St Andrew's Place, London NW1 4LE, UK.



To measure the quality of secondary prevention of stroke provided to patients in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.


Retrospective case note analysis.


235 hospitals (95% of all such hospitals), providing care for acute stroke patients in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and primary health care for follow-up data.


8,200 patients admitted with stroke between 1(st) April and 30(th) June 2001. Data on up to 40 consecutive cases submitted by each hospital. AUDIT TOOL: Royal College of Physicians Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party Stroke Audit.


24% of patients with previous cerebrovascular disease were not on anti-thrombotic medication at the time of admission. Nine percent of appropriate patients were not taking anti-thrombotic medication at discharge. Patients left with moderate to very severe disability (Barthel scores 14 or less) compared with those independent with mild disability (Barthel score 15-20) were more likely not to have anti-thrombotic treatment (18% versus 8%). Fifty-four percent of patients with known hyperlipidaemia and 21% of those with previous ischaemic heart disease were on lipid lowering therapy on admission. Sixty-four percent of patients had lipids measured during their hospital stay and of those with high total cholesterol or LDL the rate of non-treatment was 36%. Older patients (75+ years) were less likely to be treated (54%) than those <65 years (71%). Seventy-nine percent of known patients with hypertension were on treatment at admission, with 78% being treated by discharge from hospital. At 6 months after stroke a systolic blood pressure of 140 mmHg or less, and a diastolic of 85 mmHg or less, was achieved in 41% of known pre-stroke hypertensives on treatment, 31% of previously untreated hyper-tensives but on treatment at follow-up and 40% of patients not previously labelled as hypertensive.


Major deficiencies in delivery of secondary prevention after stroke have been demonstrated. Services need reorganisation to prevent unnecessary mortality and morbidity in this group of patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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