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Use of secondary stroke prevention medicines in Australia: national trends, 2003-2009

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Individuals diagnosed with transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or ischaemic stroke are at high risk of recurrent vascular events.1,2 Current Australian guidelines recommend continued use of antihypertensive, antithrombotic and lipid-lowering medicines after TIA or ischaemic stroke to reduce the risk of a recurrent ischaemic event, unless contraindications exist.3

In Australia, a national audit is conducted every 2 years to assess the quality of acute stroke care, including use of secondary stroke prevention medicines at the time of hospital discharge.4 However, few studies have examined use of secondary stroke prevention medicines after discharge from hospital.5,6 Of those available, none have assessed changes in use of these medicines at the national level, and it is unclear whether use has increased since the release of Australia’s first stroke management guidelines in 2003. Consequently, the aim of this study was to examine national trends in the use of secondary stroke prevention medicines by TIA and ischaemic stroke survivors to determine whether use has increased over time.

Methods

A retrospective observational study was conducted using data from the Australian Government Department…

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