Secondary Prevention After Ischaemic Stroke: The ASPIRE-S Study

Linda Brewer; Lisa Mellon; Patricia Hall; Eamon Dolan; Frances Horgan; Emer Shelley; Anne Hickey; David Williams


BMC Neurol. 2015;15(216) 

In This Article


Background: Survivors of ischaemic stroke (IS) are at high-risk for future vascular events. Comprehensive information on the adequacy of secondary prevention after IS is lacking despite the knowledge that appropriate secondary prevention improves long-term patient outcomes. ASPIRE-S (Action on Secondary Prevention Interventions and Rehabilitation in Stroke) aimed to prospectively assess secondary prevention in patients 6 months following IS.

Methods: Consenting patients admitted with IS to three Dublin hospitals were recruited over 1 year, from October 2011. At 6 months post IS a comprehensive assessment was completed, modelled on the EUROASPIRE protocol for evaluation of the adequacy of secondary prevention in post-discharge cardiac patients. This assessment included measurements of blood pressure, body mass index and fasting lipid and glucose profiles. Secondary preventive medications and smoking status were also documented.

Results: Three hundred two patients (58 % male) participated, of whom 256 (85 %) were followed-up at 6 months. Mean age was 69 years (range 22–95). At follow-up, 68 % of patients had a BMI >25 kg/m 2 and 16.4 % were still smoking. Almost two-thirds (63.4 %) had a blood pressure >140/90 and 23 % had low-density-lipoprotein >2.5 mmol/L. 28 % of diabetic patients had HbA1c ≥7 %. Ninety seven percent of patients were on anti-platelet and/or anticoagulant therapy. Of those with atrial fibrillation, 82 % were anti-coagulated (mean INR of 2.4). Ninety-five percent were on lipid-lowering therapy and three-quarters were on anti-hypertensive therapy.

Conclusion: This prospective multi-centre survey of IS patients demonstrated a high prevalence of remaining modifiable risk factors at 6 months post stroke, despite the widespread prescription of secondary preventive medications. There is scope to improve preventive measures after IS (in particular blood pressure) by incorporating evidence-based guidelines into quality assurance cycles in stroke care.