Antihypertensive Medication Adherence and the Risk of Vascular Events and Falls after Stroke: A Real-World Effectiveness Study Using Linked Registry Data

Lachlan L. Dalli, Muideen T. Olaiya, Joosup Kim, Nadine E. Andrew, Dominique A. Cadilhac, David Ung, Richard I. Lindley, Frank M. Sanfilippo, Amanda G. Thrift, Mark R. Nelson, Seana L. Gall, Monique F. Kilkenny, on behalf of the PRECISE investigators

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Real-world evidence is limited on whether antihypertensive medications help avert major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) after stroke without increasing the risk of falls. We investigated the association of adherence to antihypertensive medications on the incidence of MACE and falls requiring hospitalization after stroke. Methods: A retrospective cohort study of adults who were newly dispensed antihypertensive medications after an acute stroke (Australian Stroke Clinical Registry 2012-2016; Queensland and Victoria). Pharmaceutical dispensing records were used to determine medication adherence according to the proportion of days covered in the first 6 months poststroke. Outcomes between 6 and 18 months postdischarge included: (i) MACE, a composite outcome of all-cause death, recurrent stroke or acute coronary syndrome; and (ii) falls requiring hospitalization. Estimates were derived using Cox models, adjusted for >30 confounders using inverse probability treatment weights. Results: Among 4076 eligible participants (median age 68 years; 37% women), 55% had a proportion of days covered ≥80% within 6 months postdischarge. In the subsequent 12 months, 360 (9%) participants experienced a MACE and 337 (8%) experienced a fall requiring hospitalization. After achieving balance between groups, participants with a proportion of days covered ≥80% had a reduced risk of MACE (hazard ratio: 0.68; 95% CI: 0.54-0.84) and falls requiring hospitalization (subdistribution hazard ratio: 0.78; 95% CI: 0.62-0.98) than those with a proportion of days covered <80%. Conclusions: High adherence to antihypertensive medications within 6 months poststroke was associated with reduced risks of both MACE and falls requiring hospitalization. Patients should be encouraged to adhere to their antihypertensive medications to maximize poststroke outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-191
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • antihypertensive agents
  • compliance/adherence
  • mortality/survival
  • quality and outcomes
  • secondary prevention
  • stroke

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