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Generating new evidence to better guide stroke management

Dr Xia Wang, Institution: University of New South Wales

2018 Postdoctoral Fellowship

Years funded: 2019-2021


High blood pressure (BP) and atrial fibrillation (AF) (a form of irregular heart rhythm) are two of the most important risk factors for stroke and other serious cardiovascular events, the frequency of which increase as people age.

However, there are certain aspects of the management of these conditions that remain controversial to doctors:
  1. When and to what level should elevated BP be reduced in patients who present with an acute stroke – my research on analysing large data sets aims to resolve this uncertainty.
  2. Does better control of BP in people with AF improve the safety of blood thinning medication (i.e. bleeding in the brain – ‘haemorrhagic stroke’) and reduce risks of serious cardiovascular events (i.e. recurrent ‘ischaemic stroke’ and heart failure) – my research on an international clinical trial aims to resolve this uncertainty.

The other aspect of my research program is to analyse data from all patients who have been hospitalised with acute stroke in New South Wales during the period 2005 to 2016, to determine the degree of any differences in the way in men and women are treated with this serious condition and the influence this has on their chances of recovery.

I am passionate about supporting the drive for equality in the healthcare systems, and the influence of sex-disparities on risks and outcomes for stroke are poorly understood.

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