ASA: Sex Differences Seen in Use of Dual Antiplatelet Therapy After Minor Stroke

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Overall, dual antiplatelet therapy was prescribed to only 40 percent of discharged patients

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Feb. 9, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) is underused following transient ischemic attack (TIA) and minor acute ischemic stroke (AIS), particularly in women, according to a study presented at the annual American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference, held from Feb. 8 to 10 in Dallas.

Jonathan Solomonow, M.D., from the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, and colleagues examined variations in single versus dual antiplatelet prescribing practices at the time of discharge within the University of Maryland Stroke Clinical Network consisting of nine stroke centers located in rural, suburban, and urban hospitals. The analysis included 2,953 adults with a TIA or a minor AIS (admission National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score <5), who were admitted to the network from 2018 through 2021.

The researchers found that DAPT was prescribed at the time of discharge to 40 percent of patients overall. However, gender was a significant factor, with men more likely to get prescribed DAPT than women (43 versus 37 percent). Body mass index (BMI) did not have a lone effect on number of antiplatelets prescribed, but when it was included as a covariate, there was a significant effect seen on the number of antiplatelets prescribed. Higher BMI was associated with a lower likelihood of receiving DAPT. Differences were not significant for age, race, or whether or not the patient was discharged from a tertiary center.

“All stroke survivors, regardless of sex, should receive optimal proven medications for stroke prevention, including DAPT when medically appropriate,” Solomonow said in a statement. “Identifying systemic inequities is essential to improving patient care across all demographics.”

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