CARDIOEMBOLIC STROKE IN LATVIA: PREVENTION AND LONG-TERM OUTCOME
INTRODUCTION: Untreated non-valvular atrial fibrillation is one of major causes of stroke. The goal of the study was to evaluate the use of antithrombotic medication stroke prevention and assess long-term stroke outcome.
METHODS: This study involved 531 cardio embolic stroke patients of the Paul’s Stradins Clinical University Hospital, Riga, Latvia, in 2014. After discharge the patients or their relatives were interviewed by phone after 30, 90, 180, and 365 days. Standardized questions were asked about the patients’ abilities and use of prescribed secondary prevention medication. The results were compared between patient groups, assigned according to prescribed medications.
RESULTS: Of all the patients included in the study, 8.9% were using oral anticoagulants before stroke onset. One year after discharge, 1.44% of patients were not using any preventive medication, 23.56% were using antiplatelet agents, 43.27% warfarin, and 31.73% target-specific oral anticoagulants. The one-year mortality rate was 40.7%. The mortality rate was significantly higher in the patient group using no secondary preventive medication or antiplatelet agents compared to the patient group that used oral anticoagulants.CONCLUSION: Cardio embolic stroke primary and secondary prevention in Latvia is lacking. The study outcomes suggest that action is needed to increase the use of oral anticoagulants in primary stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation. Poor function outcomes, dementia, and patients’ incompliance limits the use of oral anticoagulants in secondary prevention.
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