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Many Stroke Survivors Don't Take Lifesaving Meds

Nearly 20% neglect to take drugs that could prevent another blood clot, study finds

FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2009 (HealthDay News) -- About one-fifth of ischemic stroke survivors don't take medications that can reduce their risk of another stroke, a U.S. study has found.

Ischemic stroke is caused by blocked blood flow in the brain. Several types of medications can reduce the risk of another ischemic stroke. These include blood thinners (antithrombotic medications), of which aspirin is the most common.

This seven-year study of 4,168 ischemic stroke survivors found that about 19 percent of patients didn't take blood thinners. Men, older patients and non-Hispanic patients were more likely to take blood thinners.

Further research is needed to determine exactly why patients who can benefit from these medications don't take them, said the University of California, Los Angeles researchers.

The study will be published in the January issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

More information

The Washington University School of Medicine has more about ischemic stroke.

SOURCE: University of California, Los Angeles, news release, Dec. 3, 2009
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