A new study from the University of Georgia suggests that aggressive treatment of high blood pressure in stroke patients might lead to more harm than good in the long term.
The research, which looked at over 4,000 Chinese stroke patients, has implications for the standard approach to treating hypertension in stroke sufferers, where the priority has traditionally been reducing blood pressure.
Elevated blood pressure is a common condition among stroke patients admitted to U.S. emergency rooms, with as many as 60% affected.
High blood pressure at the time of stroke has often been associated with increased rates of death and severe disability.
However, this new study has challenged the standard treatment approach, showing that patients whose systolic blood pressure was maintained around 140 mmHg experienced fewer negative health outcomes such as recurrent stroke, death, or heart disease.
The research team divided the participants into two groups, one receiving aggressive treatment for high blood pressure and a control group receiving no such treatment at the time of their stroke.
The findings suggest that reducing blood pressure too drastically with medications might inadvertently undermine the body’s protective response, which aims to maintain blood flow to the affected brain tissues.
Based on these findings, maintaining a slightly higher blood pressure, closer to 140/90 mmHg rather than the traditionally considered “good” blood pressure of 120/80 mmHg, might be beneficial for stroke patients.
Nevertheless, the question of best practices for treating high blood pressure in stroke patients remains somewhat open-ended.
The study, conducted by Changwei Li and his colleagues, was published in the American Journal of Hypertension.
This research could lead to a reassessment of standard practices in stroke treatment, emphasizing the need for a more nuanced and patient-specific approach when it comes to managing hypertension in stroke patients.
If you care about blood pressure, please read studies about unhealthy habits that could increase high blood pressure risk, and people with severe high blood pressure should reduce coffee intake.
For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies that early time-restricted eating could help improve blood pressure, and results showing plant-based foods could benefit people with high blood pressure.
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