Evaluation of risk factors and drug adherence in the occurrence of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation
Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) patients are at high risk of developing a stroke and anticoagulant medications are generally prescribed to prevent stroke in AF population.
Objective: This study aims to evaluate stroke risk factors among hospitalized patients with AF and to assess the level of adherence to medications in AF patients and their relation with stroke.
Methods: This is a case-control study conducted between June 1st, 2018 and December 31th, 2018 among AF patients admitted to seven tertiary Lebanese hospitals. Data were collected using a standardized questionnaire. Adherence to medications was assessed using the Lebanese Medication Adherence Scale-14. Odds ratios (OR) expressed the strength of association between the independent variables and the dependent variable and were estimated using unconditional logistic regression adjusted for confounding factors. P<0.05 determined statistical significance.
Results: In total, 174 cases of AF patients were included with 87 cases and 87 controls. The risk of stroke among AF significantly increased with the presence of a history of hypertension, aOR 16.04 (95%CI, 2.27-113.37; p=0.005), history of coronary heart disease/myocardial infarction, and history of obesity. Anticoagulant medication significantly decreased the risk of stroke among AF patients, aOR 0.27 (95%CI, 0.07-0.98; P=0.047). High adherence to medications was significantly associated with a reduced risk of stroke, aOR 0.04 (95%CI, 0.01-0.23; p<0.001).
Conclusions: Having a history of hypertension is one of the strongest risk factors for stroke among AF patients in Lebanon. While anticoagulant medication use was associated with a reduced risk for stroke, high adherence to medications is critical for stroke prevention. Public health interventions are needed to tackle low-adherence to medication and prevent stroke among AF patients.
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