Blood Pressure 1 Year after Stroke: The Need to Optimize Secondary Prevention
ABSTRACT Lowering blood pressure (BP) in stroke survivors reduces the risk of recurrent stroke. We tested the hypothesis that a nurse-led nonpharmacologic intervention would lower the BP of participants in an intervention group compared with a control group. A total of 349 patients who had sustained acute stroke or transient ischemic attack were randomly assigned to either usual care or to 4 home visits by a nurse. During the visits, the nurse measured and recorded BP and provided individually tailored counseling on a healthy lifestyle. A total of 303 patients completed the 1-year follow up. No change in systolic BP was noted in either the intervention group or the control group. Because of an increase in diastolic BP in the control group (P = .03), a difference in mean diastolic BP between the 2 groups was found at follow-up (P = .007). Mean BP at follow-up was 139/82 mm Hg in the intervention group and 142/86 mm Hg in the control group. Linear regression analysis demonstrated that BP at the point of discharge was the strongest predictor of BP 1 year later (P < .0001). The proportion of patients on antihypertensive medication increased in the intervention group (P = .002). Patients were compliant with antihypertensive therapy, and 92% of the hypertensive patients in the intervention group followed the advice to see a general practitioner (GP) for BP checkups. At follow-up, 187 patients (62%) were hypertensive, with no difference in the rate of hypertension seen between the groups. Our data indicate that home visits by nurses did not result in a lowering of BP. Patients complied with antihypertensive therapy and GP visits in the case of hypertension. Nonetheless, the majority of patients were hypertensive at the 1-year follow up.
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine whether interventions including components to improve adherence to antihypertensive medications in patients after stroke/transient ischemic attack (TIA) improve adherence and blood pressure control. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, BNI, PsycINFO, and article reference lists to October 2012. Search terms included stroke/TIA, adherence/prevention, hypertension, and randomized controlled trial (RCT). Inclusion criteria were participants with stroke/TIA; interventions including a component to improve adherence to antihypertensive medications; and outcomes including blood pressure, antihypertensive adherence, or both. Two reviewers independently assessed studies to determine eligibility, validity, and quality. Seven RCTs were eligible (n=1591). Methodological quality varied. All trials tested multifactorial interventions. None targeted medication adherence alone. Six trials measured blood pressure and 3 adherence. Meta-analysis of 6 trials showed that multifactorial programs were associated with improved blood pressure control. The difference between intervention versus control in mean improvement in systolic blood pressure was -5.3 mm Hg (95% CI, -10.2 to -0.4 mm Hg, P=0.035; I(2)=67% [21% to 86%]) and in diastolic blood pressure was -2.5 mm Hg (-5.0 to -0.1 mm Hg, P=0.046; I(2)=47% [0% to 79%]). There was no effect on medication adherence where measured. Multifactorial interventions including a component to improve medication adherence can lower blood pressure after stroke/TIA. However, it is not possible to say whether or not this is achieved through better medication adherence. Trials are needed of well-characterized interventions to improve medication adherence and clinical outcomes with measurement along the hypothesized causal pathway.Journal of the American Heart Association 07/2013; 2(4):e000251. DOI:10.1161/JAHA.113.000251 · 2.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: People with stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA) are at increased risk of future stroke and other cardiovascular events. Evidence-based strategies for secondary stroke prevention have been established. However, the implementation of prevention strategies could be improved. To assess the effects of stroke service interventions for implementing secondary stroke prevention strategies on modifiable risk factor control, including patient adherence to prescribed medications, and the occurrence of secondary cardiovascular events. We searched the Cochrane Stroke Group Trials Register (April 2013), the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Group Trials Register (April 2013), CENTRAL (The Cochrane Library 2013, issue 3), MEDLINE (1950 to April 2013), EMBASE (1981 to April 2013) and 10 additional databases. We located further studies by searching reference lists of articles and contacting authors of included studies. We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that evaluated the effects of organisational or educational and behavioural interventions (compared with usual care) on modifiable risk factor control for secondary stroke prevention. Two review authors selected studies for inclusion and independently extracted data. One review author assessed the risk of bias for the included studies. We sought missing data from trialists. This review included 26 studies involving 8021 participants. Overall the studies were of reasonable quality, but one study was considered at high risk of bias. Fifteen studies evaluated predominantly organisational interventions and 11 studies evaluated educational and behavioural interventions for patients. Results were pooled where appropriate, although some clinical and methodological heterogeneity was present. The estimated effects of organisational interventions were compatible with improvements and no differences in the modifiable risk factors mean systolic blood pressure (mean difference (MD) -2.57 mmHg; 95% confidence interval (CI) -5.46 to 0.31), mean diastolic blood pressure (MD -0.90 mmHg; 95% CI -2.49 to 0.68), blood pressure target achievement (OR 1.24; 95% CI 0.94 to 1.64) and mean body mass index (MD -0.68 kg/m(2); 95% CI -1.46 to 0.11). There were no significant effects of organisational interventions on lipid profile, HbA1c, medication adherence or recurrent cardiovascular events. Educational and behavioural interventions were not generally associated with clear differences in any of the review outcomes, with only two exceptions. Pooled results indicated that educational interventions were not associated with clear differences in any of the review outcomes. The estimated effects of organisational interventions were compatible with improvements and no differences in several modifiable risk factors. We identified a large number of ongoing studies, suggesting that research in this area is increasing. The use of standardised outcome measures would facilitate the synthesis of future research findings.Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 05/2014; 5(5):CD009103. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD009103.pub2 · 5.94 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: After stroke, people with weakness enter a vicious cycle of limited activity and deconditioning that limits functional recovery and exacerbates cardiovascular risk factors. Conventional aerobic exercise improves aerobic capacity, function, and overall cardiometabolic health after stroke. Recently, a new exercise strategy has shown greater effectiveness than conventional aerobic exercise for improving aerobic capacity and other outcomes among healthy adults and people with heart disease. This strategy, called high-intensity interval training (HIT), uses bursts of concentrated effort alternated with recovery periods to maximize exercise intensity. Three poststroke HIT studies have shown preliminary effectiveness for improving functional recovery. However, these studies were varied in approach and the safety of poststroke HIT has received little attention. The objectives of this narrative review are to (1) propose a framework for Categorizing HIT protocols; (2) summarize the safety and effectiveness evidence of HIT among healthy adults and people with heart disease and stroke; (3) discuss theoretical mechanisms, protocol selection, and safety considerations for poststroke HIT; and (4) provide directions for future research.Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation 07/2013; 20(4):2013. DOI:10.1310/tsr2004-317 · 1.22 Impact Factor