Entete 3

Stroke, multimorbidity and polypharmacy in a nationally representative sample of patients in Scotland



By Dr Katie Gallacher, Prof Stewart Mercer and Prof Frances Mair


Our paper in BMC Medicine http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/12/151 examines the prevalence of multimorbidity and polypharmacy in a large, nationally representative sample of primary care patients, comparing those with and without stroke, adjusting for age, gender and deprivation. In this cross-sectional study of 1,424,378 adult participants from 314 primary care practices in Scotland, we analysed data on the presence of stroke and 39 other long-term conditions, as well as prescriptions for regular medications.
We found that both multimorbidity and polypharmacy were markedly more common in those with stroke compared to those without. Additionally, number of morbidities were very high in the stroke group (45% had 4 or more) as were numbers of prescriptions (13% had 11 or more). Both multimorbidity and polypharmacy put patients at risk of treatment burden, defined as the workload of healthcare for patients, and the impact of this on wellbeing. The findings from our study therefore have important implications for the redesign of stroke health services and clinical guidelines.

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