Meta-analysis: Any blood pressure reading above normal may increase risk of stroke

March 12, 2014

Anyone with blood pressure that's higher than the optimal 120/80 mmHg may be more likely to have a stroke, according to a new meta-analysis published in the March 12, 2014, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The meta-analysis looked at all of the available research on the risk of developing in people with "prehypertension," or blood pressure higher than optimal but lower than the threshold to be diagnosed with high blood pressure, which is 140/90 mmHg. A total of 19 prospective cohort studies with more than 760,000 participants were included in the analysis, and participants were followed for time periods ranging from four to 36 years. From 25 to 54 percent of study participants had pre-high blood pressure.

The analysis found that people with pre-high blood pressure were 66 percent more likely to develop a stroke than people who had . The results were the same after researchers adjusted for other factors that could increase the risk of stroke, such as high cholesterol, diabetes and smoking. The researchers determined that nearly 20 percent of strokes in the study population were due to pre-high blood pressure.

The analysis also divided people with prehypertension into high and low groups, with blood pressure over 130/85 in the high range. Those in the high range had a greater risk of stroke than those in the low range. Those in the high range were 95 percent more likely to develop a stroke than those with normal blood pressure, while those in the low range were 44 percent more likely.

"These findings, if confirmed, have important takeaways for the public," said study author Dingli Xu, MD, of Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China. "Considering the high proportion of the population who have higher than normal blood pressure, successful treatment of this condition could prevent many strokes and make a major difference in public health."

Blood pressure medication is not currently recommended for people with pre-high blood pressure, Xu said, in part because not enough research has been done on its safety and effectiveness for pre-.

"Prehypertension should be managed with changes in diet and exercise to help reduce the risk of stroke," Xu said. "More research should be done on using drugs for people with prehypertension."

Explore further: Blood pressure medications given right after stroke not beneficial, study finds

Related Stories

Blood pressure medications given right after stroke not beneficial, study finds

February 19, 2014
A major study has found that giving stroke patients medications to lower their blood pressure during the first 48 hours after a stroke does not reduce the likelihood of death or major disability.

Study finds black women most likely to have high blood pressure

December 23, 2013
(HealthDay)—Black women in the United States are much more likely to have high blood pressure than black men or white women and men, according to a new study.

For people with diabetes, aggressive blood pressure goals may not help

November 13, 2013
Many people with diabetes also have high blood pressure. Clinical guidelines have suggested blood pressure levels in people with diabetes should be kept lower than the standard for people without diabetes. However, a new ...

Blood pressure medicines reduce stroke risk in people with prehypertension

December 8, 2011
People with prehypertension had a lower risk of stroke when they took blood pressure-lowering medicines, according to research reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Cardiovascular disease risk of high normal blood pressure decreases in old age

April 20, 2012
High normal blood pressure becomes less of a risk factor for incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) and coronary heart disease (CHD) with age, according to a new study presented today at the World Congress of Cardiology.

Can citrus ward off your risk of stroke?

February 14, 2014
Eating foods that contain vitamin C may reduce your risk of the most common type of hemorrhagic stroke, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual Meeting ...

Recommended for you

Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?

November 17, 2017
The buildup of plaque in the heart's arteries is an unfortunate part of aging. But by studying the genetic makeup of people who maintain clear arteries into old age, researchers led by UNC's Jonathan Schisler, PhD, have identified ...

New model estimates odds of events that trigger sudden cardiac death

November 16, 2017
A new computational model of heart tissue allows researchers to estimate the probability of rare heartbeat irregularities that can cause sudden cardiac death. The model, developed by Mark Walker and colleagues from Johns ...

Popular e-cigarette liquid flavorings may change, damage heart muscle cells

November 16, 2017
Chemicals used to make some popular e-cigarette liquid flavorings—including cinnamon, clove, citrus and floral—may cause changes or damage to heart muscle cells, new research indicates.

Possible use for botulinum toxin to treat atrial fibrillation

November 16, 2017
From temporarily softening wrinkles to easing migraines, botulinum toxin has become a versatile medical remedy because of its ability to block nerve signals that can become bothersome or risky.

Proteome of the human heart mapped for the first time

November 15, 2017
A healthy heart beats about two billion times during a lifetime, thanks to the interplay of more than 10,000 proteins. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) and the German Heart Centre at the Technical ...

First transcatheter implant for diastolic heart failure successful

November 15, 2017
Results presented today at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions and published in Circulation show that a new device designed to treat diastolic heart failure is safe and effective. The first patient in the randomized, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.