GPs warn thousands at high risk of stroke

Posted on: 28 November 2013 by Gareth Hargreaves

New research shows GP budget cuts hampering access to atrial fibrilation medication that reduces the risk of stroke by two-thirds

 

A new survey found that 4 in 10 AF patients are not receiving effective stroke protection treatment largely due to budget pressures on GPs, leaving thousands at high stroke risk.

Effective anticoagulation can reduce the risk of stroke by two-thirds yet, just under half of patients in the survey were given warfarin to thin the blood which, whilst effective, involves complex monitoring to ensure it is kept within the therapeutic range.

According to GPs, only one in 20 of their patients are prescribed the newer oral anticoagulants and only 22% of atrial fibrillation patients said they were told about them.

Almost 7 in 10 of the surveyed stroke physicians (who are at the forefront of the impact of stroke) said that a move away from aspirin and warfarin, would help reduce strokes and that more than one in three strokes could be prevented if AF patients were spotted sooner and treated more effectively.

Dr. Khalid Khan, Consultant Cardiologist says: “Today’s findings, however, clearly illustrate why, every day, cardiologists and stroke physicians are still seeing the tragic consequences and loss of life caused by AF related strokes.

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