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Most strokes may be preventable

Created date

February 12th, 2016
senior and doctor
senior and doctor

A new study by researchers from the University of California, Irvine, shows that most strokes that required immediate treatment in emergency rooms may have been preventable.

The researchers evaluated the medical records of 274 patients who had been discharged from the hospital with a diagnosis of ischemic stroke. This type of stroke is due to oxygen deprivation to the brain (usually due to clots) and is responsible for 85% of strokes in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Stroke prevention scale

Lead researcher Mark Fisher, M.D., and colleagues developed a 10-point stroke prevention scale focusing on effectiveness of treatment for high blood pressure (0-2 points), high cholesterol (0-2 points), atrial fibrillation (0-4 points), and the use of anti-clotting therapy for known prior cerebrovascular and cardiovascular disease (0-2) points. They found that over three-fourths of patients scored 1 or greater on the scale—indicating some degree of stroke preventability, and over one-fourth of patients scored 4 or greater—indicating a high degree of preventability. 

The researchers say that although stroke therapy has continued to advance and improve outcomes, stroke prevention should remain a top priority among doctors, patients, and researchers.