In Denmark, 25% of hospital admissions with stroke are recurrent strokes. With thrombolytic treatment, more patients survive with only minor disability. This promising development should be followed up by intensive secondary prevention. Hypertension is the most important target. We aimed at testing the hypotheses that early follow-up in a preventive clinic would result in (a) a higher proportion of patients with blood pressure at target and (b) time to stroke recurrence, myocardial infarction, and death would be longer in the intervention group compared to controls.
Eligible patients admitted to the stroke unit of Herlev Hospital were randomized shortly before discharge to intervention or control group. Of 78 included participants, data from 73 were available for follow-up 9 months after inclusion. Patients in the intervention group were seen in the clinic within 1 week. In case of hypertension, treatment was initiated or supplied with a new drug. We used individual targets for blood pressure according to diagnosis of stroke and patients’ comorbidity. Patients in the intervention group had a median of five visits to the preventive clinic.
In the intervention group, blood pressure was treated to target in 25 patients (69%) versus 14 (38%) in the control group (p = .007). Median time to first event was 44 months (4-49) in the intervention group and 19 months (4-37) in controls (p = .316).
Treatment of hypertension to individual targets after stroke is feasible. It may postpone recurrent stroke and death in stroke survivors.
© 2020 The Authors. Brain and Behavior published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.