Background: Women suffer higher rates of death due to stroke compared to men. In addition, previous studies suggest that women are treated less aggressively for vascular risk factors compared to men. We assessed the quality of primary and secondary vascular prevention at multiple primary care sites within a single region. Methods: Women more than age of 40 years were eligible for the study. Data from the electronic medical record at multiple primary care locations (internal medicine, family medicine, and geriatrics) were analyzed to assess quality of vascular preventative care. Specific attention was devoted to use of antithrombotic agents, statins, and estrogen. Results: 1,815 women with a mean age of 61 years were reviewed. Seventy-five percent were African American. Patients in the urban practices had higher rates of vascular risk factors and existing vascular disease (heart disease or stroke) compared to the suburban locations. Seventy-one percent of patients with diabetes were receiving statins. For patients with previous stroke/transient ischemic attack (TIA), the use of antiplatelet agents or statins was <70%. Patients >70 years were more likely to receive antiplatelet agents (51% vs. 30%, p < 0.0001) and statins (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Urban women have higher rates of vascular risk factors and overt vascular disease compared to suburban women. The use of proven secondary prevention medications for patients with prior stroke/TIA was suboptimal. Both primary and secondary prevention should be intensified for urban women.
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