Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Medical News: Evidence-Based Treatment Improves Older Stroke Victims' Chances - in Cardiovascular, Strokes from MedPage Today

By Kristina Fiore, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

Older stroke patients remain at higher risk for adverse outcomes than younger ones, but the gap has narrowed with wider implementation of evidence-based guidelines, researchers say.

More than 10% of stroke patients over 80 died in the hospital, compared with 3% of those under age 50, Gregg C. Fonarow, MD, of the University of California Los Angeles, and colleagues reported online in Circulation.

But overall use of guideline-recommended therapies improved substantially in older patients from 2003 to 2009, particularly for patients over 90, they said.

During that time, several hospitals and stroke centers have adopted "Get with the Guidelines," an intervention to apply evidence-based guidelines to care. Adopters have seen "substantial improvements ... in performance measures for ischemic stroke patients, including pharmacological and nonpharmacological management in each age group," the researchers wrote.
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