A quarter of all patients who had suffered major cardiovascular events like stroke stop taking their medications to prevent the occurrence of the disease, a new study shows.

The researchers have arrived at this finding after analyzing data related to 2,598 patients who had been admitted to 106 U.S. hospitals with a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA).

Of all the patients studied, 75.5 percent were consistently taking all the medications prescribed by their doctor, the researchers found.

However, 20 percent of patients were only taking at least half of their medications, while a small minority of 3.5 percent were not taking any of their medications three months after their tryst with a stoke.

The patients, who failed to continuously take the medications, proffered reasons like having other serious health problems, poor health insurance cover and fewer medications for not regularly taking them.

"Providers should spend more time teaching stroke patients and caregivers when new risk factors are diagnosed and new medications are prescribed, such as blood pressure or cholesterol medications prior to discharge, while keeping the regimen as streamlined as possible," says lead researcher Dr. Cheryl D. Bushnell, an associate professor of neurology and associate director, at the Women's Health Center of Excellence at Wake Forest University Health Sciences.

The report, published in the online edition of the Archives of Neurology, quoted Dr. Bushnell as saying: "Most importantly, these results show that some patients require more teaching regarding their medications, including why a medication is prescribed and how to refill it."

"Hopefully, we as providers can improve patients' medication compliance through better communication and by being aware of the factors associated with medication discontinuation," she said in the published article.

The researchers sought additional patient education and follow-up programs for stroke patients to address this problem.