Stroke Prevention Clinics Reduce 1-Year Mortality Rates

The risk of stroke after a TIA may be as high as 20 per cent in the first three months. Half of the strokes occur in the first 24 to 48 hours after a TIA. Organised inpatient care has been shown to decrease morbidity and mortality but little research has been done on the benefits of organised outpatient stroke prevention clinics. These clinics facilitate early assessment, diagnosis and treatment of patients with a recent TIA or non-disabling stroke.

Using data from the Registry of the Canadian Stroke Network, the researchers compared more than 16,000 patients with ischemic stroke or TIA seen in the emergency department or admitted to hospital in Ontario between July 1, 2003 and March 31, 2008.

"Organised stroke care works," says Hachinski. "It does not really matter about the size, location and hours of these clinics. Patients benefit because you have interested people with some expertise, following best practice standards and gaining experience from doing things repeatedly."

"This study provides important evidence that referral to a SPC reduces mortality. The basic underlying principle of our study is that organised care, even with staggered models, makes a positive difference at all levels," adds Fiona Webster of the University of Toronto.; Source: The University of Western Ontario