Prescription of secondary preventive drugs after ischemic stroke: Results from the Malaysian National Stroke Registry

Wen Yea Hwong*, Zariah Abdul Aziz, Norsima Nazifah Sidek, Michiel L. Bots, Sharmini Selvarajah, L. Jaap Kappelle, Sheamini Sivasampu, Ilonca Vaartjes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Evaluation of secondary stroke prevention in low and middle-income countries remains limited. This study assessed the prescription of secondary preventive drugs among ischemic stroke patients upon hospital discharge in Malaysia and identified factors related to the prescribing decisions. Methods: From Malaysian National Stroke Registry, we included patients with non-fatal ischemic stroke. Prescriptions of antiplatelet, anticoagulants, antihypertensive drugs and lipid-lowering drugs were assessed. Multi-level logistic regressions were performed to determine the relation between potential factors and drug prescriptions. Results: Of 5292 patients, 48% received antihypertensive drugs, 88.9% antiplatelet and 88.7% lipid-lowering drugs upon discharge. Thirty-three percent of patients with an indication for anticoagulants (n = 391) received it. Compared to patients <=50 years, patients above 70 years were less likely to receive antiplatelet (OR: 0.72, 95% CI: 0.50-1.03), lipid-lowering drugs (OR: 0.66, 95% CI: 0.45-0.95) and anticoagulants (OR: 0.27, 95% CI: 0.09-0.83). Patients with moderate to severe disability upon discharge had less odds of receiving secondary preventive drugs; an odds ratio of 0.57 (95% CI: 0.45-0.71) for antiplatelet, 0.86 (95% CI: 0.75-0.98) for antihypertensive drugs and 0.78 (95% CI: 0.63-0.97) for lipid-lowering drugs in comparison to those with minor disability. Having prior specific comorbidities and drug prescriptions significantly increased the odds of receiving these drugs. No differences were found between sexes and ethnicities. Conclusions: Prescription of antihypertensive drugs and anticoagulants among ischemic stroke patients in Malaysia were suboptimal. Efforts to initiate regular clinical audits to evaluate the uptake and effectiveness of secondary preventive strategies are timely in low and middle-income settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number203
JournalBMC Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2017


  • Aged
  • Anticoagulants
  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Brain Ischemia
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Malaysia
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Patient Discharge
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Registries
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Stroke
  • Journal Article


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