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Hypertension as a risk factor of a stroke

Elevated blood pressure (hypertension) is one of the most dangerous risk factor of a stroke. Blood pressure originates in the walls of blood vessels. More precisely, blood pressure is the difference between blood and atmospheric pressure. Arterial blood pressure is blood pressure in large arteries. AD is one of the most important parameters of the cardiovascular system. When measuring blood pressure two quantities are determined. The upper figure - systolic blood pressure - gives readings at the time of heart contraction when blood enters the artery. This figure is determined by the effort produced by the heart to make the contraction. The lower figure - diastolic blood pressure - gives readings when the heart muscle relaxes. The magnitude of the pressure fluctuation is not the same for different parts of the vascular system: the further it is located from the heart, the less noticeable will be the difference. A typical value of blood pressure in a healthy person (systolic / diastolic) is 120/80 mm Hg.

When a person has high blood pressure, the heart pulsates harder and more frequently to provide blood to the entire body. This gradually weakens the blood vessels and damages the major organs, such as the brain. Without treating this condition, high blood pressure can cause a stroke. Blood pressure, as well as the rate of heart contraction, varies from time to time under different workloads or stress. For people older than 18 years, the optimal blood pressure is 120/80 or lower. Blood pressure above 120/80 indicates hypertension. People with high blood pressure are at a greater risk of developing a stroke compared to those who have a consistent blood pressure of 120/80.

Patients who have had a heart attack, a stroke or those who have diabetes, kidney disease, high cholesterol or obesity should consult a doctor and get consultation or treatment on how to reduce and control blood pressure. Consistent blood pressure below 140/90 reduces the risk of further complications.

Hypertension can occur in people of different ages, but many are not aware that they have this condition. Doctors have long since dubbed high blood pressure as a "silent killer", because a person can have high blood pressure without any symptoms. If this disease is not treated, it can lead to serious complications, such as a stroke, heart attack or kidney failure. Hypertension is one of the major causes of a stroke. It affects the walls of the blood vessels, causing them to thicken and change. At the end, this can lead to their rupture.

Hypertension also contributes to a faster development of several common heart diseases. When the walls of the vessels thicken because of high blood pressure, cholesterol or other fat-like substances can break through the walls of the arteries and block the cerebral artery. Blood pressure can also weaken the walls of blood vessels, which leads to their rupture, and then to a hemorrhage of the brain. It is very important to measure and control blood pressure to prevent the recurrence of a stroke.


It is necessary to establish the exact cause of arterial hypertension. There are a number of factors that influence blood pressure.

  • Genetic predisposition.
  • Age. Hypertension is more common in men after 35 years and women after 45 years.
  • Sex. At the age of 45 years, men are more likely to suffer from hypertension. From 45 to 64, the risk of stroke is equal in both sexes. After 64 years women are more often at risk.

Other factors that can lead to high blood pressure include obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, diabetes, lack of physical activity and excessive salt intake.


The importance of antihypertensive therapy has been repeatedly confirmed by studies. Treatment should be carried out both for the prevention of primary dysfunctions and after a stroke.

There are various methods for controlling blood pressure. In most cases, a combination of several methods to eliminate hypertension, such as diet, exercise, medication are prescribed. A salt-free diet, rich in vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products helps lower blood pressure. Studies have also shown that increasing potassium intake reduces blood pressure (by eating fresh fruits and vegetables).

Regular physical activity, proportionate to the age and health condition of the patient, approved by the doctor, can not only help to reduce weight, but also reduce blood pressure. Currently, there is a large number of medicines that help control blood pressure.

Treatment is prescribed individually, depending on the health condition of each patient. Some medication cause side effects, such as dizziness or nausea. Action mechanism of such medicines can also be different. Some of them lead to a decrease of plasma in the blood or slow down the blood flow through the body, others help to relax the muscles of the heart. It is necessary to take the medication according to the instructions prescribed by your doctor and undergo the full course.

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