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Secondary prevention measures in patients with cerebral ischemia or coronary heart disease (CHD) consist of vascular risk factors management and antithrombotic therapy. The aim of this study was to compare how secondary prevention measures are applied in practice between patients with a history of CHD or cerebral ischemia.We compared vascular risk factors management and antithrombotic therapy between patients with a history of CHD and patients with a history of cerebral ischemia that occurred 2 months to 6 years earlier. Whether patients were properly treated or not was determined by a comparison between their current treatments and European guidelines for stroke and CHD management.We included 107 consecutive patients with a history of cerebral ischemia and 85 consecutive patients with a history of CHD. We found that: (i) most patients did not receive an appropriate secondary prevention in both groups: 76 of 107 patients with previous cerebral ischemia (71 %) and 73 of 85 patients with CHD (85.9 %); (ii) identification of risk factors, such as hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus and smoking, did not differ between both groups, but arterial hypertension was more frequent in CHD patients; (iii) an inappropriate management of risk factors was more frequent in patients with TIA vs. ischemic stroke, and angina pectoris vs. myocardial infarction; (iv) arterial hypertension and hypercholesterolemia were the 2 more frequent risk factors that were not properly treated; (v) more than half diabetic patients had hyperglycemia ≥ 126 mg/dl in both groups; (vi) patients with previous CHD had twice more frequently stopped smoking than those with cerebral ischemia.Many patients were not properly treated in both groups, and differences between practice and guidelines were more frequent in the CHD group, where guidelines are more strict.