Adherence to oral anticoagulation in secondary stroke prevention–the first year of direct oral anticoagulants.

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Adherence to oral anticoagulation in secondary stroke prevention--the first year of direct oral anticoagulants.

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2015 Jan;24(1):78-82

Authors: Sauer R, Sauer EM, Bobinger T, Blinzler C, Huttner HB, Schwab S, Köhrmann M

BACKGROUND: Patients with ischemic stroke caused by atrial fibrillation (AF) have a high risk of recurrence without adequate secondary prevention with oral anticoagulation (OAC). We investigated adherence to OAC in the first year after introduction of direct oral anticoagulants.
METHODS: In 284 appropriate patients, the rate of anticoagulation (AC) at discharge, adherence at 90 days and 1 year, changes between substances, and predictors for adherence to AC were analyzed. Functional outcome was assessed using the modified Rankin Scale score.
RESULTS: AC was initiated in 70.3% of survivors before discharge. In these patients, only 8.6% and 9.9% discontinued AC after 90 days and 1 year, respectively. In 22.1%, AC was recommended but not started before discharge. Only 53.2% of them received AC at 90 days, increasing to 67.5% at 1 year. A total of 7.6% of patients were deemed unsuitable for AC, none of them subsequently received AC. Overall, 85.4% of patients suitable for AC were treated at 1-year follow-up. No independent predictors for withholding AC were identified. Switching of medication occurred in only a minority of patients within the first year.
CONCLUSIONS: AC is feasible in more than 90% patients with acute ischemic stroke and AF. When initiated during the acute hospital stay, AC is discontinued in only a minority of patients. However, if AC is recommended but not started during initial hospitalization the rate of AC treatment at 90 days and 1 year is much lower. Therefore, AC should be initiated within the acute hospital stay whenever possible.

PMID: 25440347 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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