Prior Antithrombotic Use Is Associated With Favorable Mortality and Functional Outcomes in Acute Ischemic Stroke

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Abstract

Background and Purpose—

Antithrombotics are the mainstay of treatment in primary and secondary prevention of stroke, and their use before an acute event may be associated with better outcomes.

Methods—

Using data from Get With The Guidelines-Stroke with over half a million acute ischemic strokes recorded between October 2011 and March 2014 (n=540 993) from 1661 hospitals across the United States, we examined the unadjusted and adjusted associations between previous antithrombotic use and clinical outcomes.

Results—

There were 250 104 (46%) stroke patients not receiving any antithrombotic before stroke; of whom approximately one third had a documented previous vascular indication. After controlling for clinical and hospital factors, patients who were receiving antithrombotics before stroke had better outcomes than those who did not, regardless of whether a previous vascular indication was present or not: adjusted odds ratio (95% confidence intervals) were 0.82 (0.80–0.84) for in-hospital mortality, 1.18 (1.16–1.19) for home as the discharge destination, 1.15 (1.13–1.16) for independent ambulatory status at discharge, and 1.15 (1.12–1.17) for discharge modified Rankin Scale score of 0 or 1.

Conclusions—

Previous antithrombotic therapy was independently associated with improved clinical outcomes after acute ischemic stroke. Ensuring the use of antithrombotics in appropriate patient populations may be associated with benefits beyond stroke prevention.

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