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Eur J Neurol. 2009 Jun;16(6):678-83. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2009.02562.x. Epub 2009 Feb 19.

Vascular risk factor awareness before and pharmacological treatment before and after stroke and TIA.

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Department of Neurology, University Hospital Charite, Berlin, Germany.



Educating the public to screen for vascular risk factors and have them treated is a major public health issue. We assessed the vascular risk factor awareness and frequency of treatment in a cohort of patients with cerebral ischaemia.


Data on awareness and pharmacological treatment of vascular risk factors before hospital admission of patients with confirmed ischaemic stroke/transient ischaemic attack (TIA) were analyzed. A follow-up questionnaire assessed the frequency of treatment 1 year after discharge and assessed non-adherence to antithrombotic medication.


At time of stroke/TIA, individual awareness regarding existing hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia and atrial fibrillation (AF) was 83%, 87%, 73% and 69% respectively (n = 558). Pharmacological treatment for hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia and AF was being administered in 80%, 77%, 37% and 62% of patients aware of their conditions. The follow-up was completed by 383 patients (80% recall rate): of the patients with hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia and AF, 89%, 78%, 45% and 86% were receiving risk factor targeted medication. This represents a significant increase concerning AF and hyperlipidemia. Non-adherence to recommended antithrombotics (15%) was higher in patients who had had a TIA.


All risk factors leave room for improvement in screening and treatment efforts. Adherence to treatment is higher for hypertension and diabetes than for hyperlipidemia. Education efforts should bear in mind less well recognized risk factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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