An analysis of the records of UK patients who had experienced a stroke has found that over half of those who should get drugs to prevent strokes were not prescribed them.
Commenting on the research, Alexis Wieroniey, Deputy Director of Policy and Influencing at the Stroke Association, said: “Many people don’t realise just how serious stroke is. The condition is the UK’s fourth biggest killer, yet up to 80% of all strokes could be prevented.
“For example, we know that that around 60% of patients admitted to hospital with atrial fibrillation-related strokes have not been given appropriate anticoagulation treatment. In other words, their stroke could have been prevented. And an estimated 6.8 million people in the UK could unknowingly have high blood pressure: one of the biggest risk factors for stroke and often called a silent killer, as it has no symptoms.
“This latest research suggests that thousands of people may be missing a crucial opportunity to receive treatment which could prevent a devastating stroke.
“We urgently need to take steps to ensure that these avoidable strokes are prevented. We estimate that, just by reducing the number of people with atrial fibrillation who do not get the treatment they need, over 2,000 lives could be saved every year.”