Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Urgent assessment aimed at reducing stroke risk after transient ischemic attack or minor stroke is cost-effective over the short-term. However, it is unclear if the short-term impact is lost on long-term follow-up, with recurrent events being delayed rather than prevented. By 10-year follow-up of the EXPRESS study (Early Use of Existing Preventive Strategies for Stroke), previously showing urgent assessment reduced 90-day stroke risk by 80%, we determined whether that early benefit was still evident long-term for stroke risk, disability, and costs. METHODS: EXPRESS was a prospective population-based before (phase 1: April 2002-September 2004; n=310) versus after (phase 2: October 2004-March 2007; n=281) study of the effect of early assessment and treatment of transient ischemic attack/minor stroke on early recurrent stroke risk, with an external control. This report assesses the effect on 10-year recurrent stroke risk, functional outcomes, quality-of-life, and costs. RESULTS: A reduction in stroke risk in phase 2 was still evident at 10 years (55/23.3% versus 82/31.6%; hazard ratio=0.68 [95% CI, 0.48-0.95]; P=0.024), as was the impact on risk of disabling or fatal stroke (17/7.7% versus 32/13.1%; hazard ratio=0.54 [0.30-0.97]; P=0.036). These effects were due to maintenance of the early reduction in stroke risk, with neither additional benefit nor rebound catch-up after 90 days (post-90 days hazard ratio=0.88 [0.65-1.44], P=0.88; and hazard ratio=0.83 [0.42-1.65], P=0.59, respectively). Disability-free life expectancy was 0.59 (0.03-1.15; P=0.043) years higher in patients in phase 2, as was quality-adjusted life expectancy (0.49 [0.03-0.95]; P=0.036). Overall, 10-year costs were nonsignificantly higher in patients attending the phase 2 clinic ($1022 [-3865-5907]; P=0.66). The additional cost per quality-adjusted life year gained in phase 2 versus phase 1 was $2103, well below current cost-effectiveness thresholds. CONCLUSIONS: Urgent assessment and treatment of patients with transient ischemic attack or minor stroke resulted in a long-term reduction in recurrent strokes and improved outcomes, with little atrophy of the early benefit over time, representing good value for money even with a 10-year time horizon. Our results suggest that other effective acute treatments in transient ischemic attack/minor stroke in the short-term will also have the potential to have long-term benefit.

Original publication

DOI

10.1161/STROKEAHA.121.034279

Type

Journal

Stroke

Publication Date

28/10/2021

Keywords

costs and cost analysis, life expectancy, maintenance, population, quality of life, secondary prevention