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Most Stroke Survivors Take an Antithrombotic Agent

Factors linked to greater use of antithrombotics included being older, male, and non-Hispanic

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A large proportion of stroke survivors used antithrombotic agents during a recent period, according to research published in the January issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Eric M. Cheng, M.D., of the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues analyzed 2000 to 2006 data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey on 4,168 individuals with a history of diagnosis of stroke, transient ischemic attack, or mini-stroke.

The researchers found that over this period, 57 percent were using aspirin, 66 percent were using an antiplatelet, and 75 percent were using an antithrombotic. After excluding subjects who reported not taking aspirin due to health-related safety issues, the number using an antithrombotic rose to 81 percent. During these years, the use of antithrombotic agents overall remained unchanged, but the use of prescription antiplatelets increased. Factors associated with greater antithrombotic use included being older than 65 years of age, male, and non-Hispanic.

"Among people with stroke, the increasing use of prescription antiplatelet medications makes surveys of aspirin use an incomplete gauge of the overall use of any antithrombotic agent. Although the level of use of antithrombotic agents appears high, further research should investigate whether the remaining 20 percent truly have indications for antithrombotic therapy that outweigh any contraindications, and, if so, why they are not taking these medications, particularly among younger, female, and Hispanic patients," the authors conclude.

A co-author reported receiving speaking fees from the Boeringer Ingelheim speakers bureau.

A coauthor disclosed receiving speaking fees from the Boeringer Ingelheim speakers bureau.

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