Background and Purpose: We aimed at quantifying and explaining the underuse of antithrombotic treatments after an ischemic stroke in patients seen in French primary care. Methods: We pooled all ischemic stroke patients included in 3 observational primary care-based observational studies. French general practitioners and cardiologists recruited 14,544 patients with atherothrombotic disease including 4,322 with an ischemic stroke. Antithrombotic therapies and risk factors were prospectively recorded. Patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) were considered appropriate for oral anticoagulants (OAC) and those without AF for antiplatelet drugs. Results: Out of the 4,322 stroke patients, 3,732 (86.3%) were taking at least one antithrombotic drug. Among the 765 patients with AF, 333 (43.5%) received OAC and 2,718 (86.9%) out of the 3,129 patients appropriate for antiplatelet drug were taking antiplatelet drug. Multivariate analyses did not single out any risk factors for nonuse of OAC and showed that female sex (OR = 1.48; IC 95%: 1.14–1.92) was associated with nonuse of antiplatelet drugs. Conversely, past myocardial infarction (OR = 0.44; IC 95%: 0.26–0.71) and hypercholesterolemia (OR = 0.64; IC 95%: 0.50–0.81) were associated with appropriate use of antiplatelet drugs. Conclusion: More than 50% of stroke patients with AF do not receive OAC and 15% of those without AF do not receive antiplatelet drugs. These findings are not satisfactorily explained by the main patients’ characteristics and practitioner’s speciality and underline the complexity of the process which allows the transfer of scientific evidence in clinical practice.
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