Updated Stroke Guidance Helps Parse Out Complementary Role of Specialists, Primary Care Physicians: Mitchell S.V. Elkind, MD, MS, MPhil


A scientific statement and updated guidelines for stroke prevention were both published this year by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association; Mitchell S.V. Elkind, MD, MS, MPhil, discusses how the 2 coincide.

“Our recent stroke prevention guidelines and the more recent statement for primary care providers really are two parts of the same story; they fit very well together.”

Following the publication of a new scientific statement, “Primary Care of Adult Patients After Stroke,” as well as updated 2021 guidelines for prevention of secondary stroke, Mitchell S.V. Elkind, MD, MS, MPhil, spoke with NeurologyLive on how the 2 complement each other, further stressing the importance of stroke systems of care. The guidelines and the statement were released by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association in May and July of this year, respectively. 

While the guidelines, updated for the first time since 2014, provide evidence-based tactics for addressing different types of secondary stroke and managing risk factors, the scientific statement works to integrate primary care providers in the poststroke stage. In doing so, systems of care are improved without putting sole onus on patients and singular physicians, according to Elkind, who is also president of the AHA and chief of the division of neurology clinical outcomes research and population sciences at Columbia University. Implementing a system for diagnostics is key; however, Elkind also spoke on the importance of involving hospitals and accountable care organizations to address ongoing health care disparities and inequities. 

1. Kernan WN, Viera AJ, Billinger SA, et al. Primary Care of Adult Patients After Stroke: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke. Published online July 15, 2021. doi: 10.1161/STR.0000000000000382.
2. Kleindorfer DA, Towfighi A, Chaturvedi S, et al. 2021 guideline for the prevention of stroke in patients with stroke and transient ischemic attack: A guideline from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke. Published online May 24, 2021 doi: 0.1161/STR.0000000000000375
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