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AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 2, 2017

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Education and Monitoring Improves the Use of Stroke-Prevention Therapies

Patients taking anticoagulation drugs are a key to preventing strokes

 

Only about half of patients with atrial fibrillation worldwide take anticoagulant drugs, despite the medications being highly effective in preventing strokes.

Increasing the use of anticoagulation therapies could prevent hundreds of thousands of strokes each year. A new study shows that education, measurement and feedback are effective approaches to increasing the use of anticoagulants, and demonstrate on a large scale how this improvement can be achieved.

In a large, international study led by the Duke Clinical Research Institute and five coordinating centers around the world, an informational campaign aimed at patients, families and physicians led to a 9-percent absolute increase in the use of anticoagulation therapies. The increased drug adherence was accompanied by a small, but notable reduction in the risk of stroke.

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