Secondary prevention and cognitive function after stroke: a study protocol for a 5-year follow-up of the ASPIRE-S cohort

Introduction Cognitive impairment is common following stroke and can increase disability and levels of dependency of patients, potentially leading to greater burden on carers and the healthcare system. Effective cardiovascular risk factor control through secondary preventive medications may reduce the risk of cognitive decline. However, adherence to medications is often poor and can be adversely affected by cognitive deficits. Suboptimal medication adherence negatively impacts secondary prevention targets, increasing the risk of recurrent stroke and further cognitive decline. The aim of this study is to profile cognitive function and secondary prevention, including adherence to secondary preventive medications and healthcare usage, 5 years post-stroke. The prospective associations between cognition, cardiovascular risk factors, adherence to secondary preventive medications, and rates of recurrent stroke or other cardiovascular events will also be explored.

Methods and analysis This is a 5-year follow-up of a prospective study of the Action on Secondary Prevention Interventions and Rehabilitation in Stroke (ASPIRE-S) cohort of patients with stroke. This cohort will have a detailed assessment of cognitive function, adherence to secondary preventive medications and cardiovascular risk factor control.

Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval for this study was granted by the Research Ethics Committees at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin and Connolly Hospital, Dublin, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Findings will be disseminated through presentations and peer-reviewed publications.