Hypertension Drastically Increases Stroke Risk

Uncontrolled Hypertension Issues, studies have found, can increase a person’s risk of stroke by as much as four to six times.  A stroke is sometimes called a brain attack, and when blood flow is cut off to the brain it becomes deprived of oxygen and glucose needed to survive, those cells will die.  Even if it is caught before the affected person dies, permanent brain damage can be the result.  The higher the blood pressure, the greater the risk of stroke will be.  It is one of the truly serious health issues caused by hypertension along with heart disease, liver and kidney issues and vision problems.

Stroke Issues Caused by High Blood Pressure

Two Types of Stroke Resulting from High Blood Pressure

The two types of stroke are dependent on what happens to the blood vessels that lead to the brain.

  1. Ischemic stroke.  This type of stroke occurs when a clot occurs inside the blood vessel itself, either within the brain or in vessels leading to the brain.  It is very similar to what happens most of the time during a heart attack, except in the brain.  These clots can be caused by cholesterol or fatty deposits.  Ischemic stroke happen in about four out of five stroke victims.
  2. Hemorrhagic stroke.  This happens when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures.  The weakness in the vessel is caused by a thin or weak vessel that cannot hold the increased pressure of hypertension.  When the vessel burst or even seeps blood into the brain tissue, permanent damage to the brain or death can result.

Transient Ischemic Attack and StrokeOften a stroke can come about with no warning other than the common symptoms attributable to stoke, including of course high blood pressure.  But there is one warning that is painless and temporary in duration, but should be heeded as seriously as if it were a real stroke.  A transient ischemic attack, sometimes termed a mini-stroke, but usually lasts 15 minutes or less.  It occurs when the blood flow to a certain area of the brain is cut off, and often signals that a stroke will happen in minutes or perhaps months.  Even though it is painless, it is definitely a warning that something is wrong.

What Can We Do to Prevent a Stroke?

Considering that stoke is the leading cause of disability and the third or fourth cause of death (depending on the statistics you consult), it is a very serious health matter to be sure.  Add to that the fact that an estimated 80% of all strokes are preventable, and this is an issue that should be front and center in any discussion on how to reduce health costs.  Also, anyone who has had someone close to them with the after-effects of a serious stroke, and it is a condition everyone should take very seriously.



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