Pedro Armario and Alejandro de la Sierra Pages 1278 - 1284 ( 7 )
Stroke, as a clinical manifestation of the cardiovascular diseases, is one of the leading causes of death and disability in both developed and developing countries. Hypertension is by far, the most important risk factor for stroke. Epidemiological data indicate that the risk of stroke increases with both systolic and diastolic blood pressure elevation, from levels of 115/75 mmHg. It is also evident that most adults worldwide have values above these limits, thus emphasizing the importance of blood pressure as a risk factor for stroke. Clinical trials of antihypertensive treatment, both in studies that have compared active drugs against placebo or in those comparing different types of drugs have clearly demonstrated a protective effect of blood pressure reduction in the prevention of stroke. The degree of protection is directly related to blood pressure reduction and, the lower the level, the better the prognosis. Although data on secondary stroke prevention are scarcer, studies also seem to indicate that lowering blood pressure with antihypertensive treatment protects against stroke recurrence. At the present moment there is still uncertainty on 2 different aspects regarding the relationship between antihypertensive treatment and stroke. First, the blood pressure management during acute stroke has not adequately investigated in clinical trials. Second, the possibility of a protective role of specific types of antihypertensive drugs beyond blood pressure reduction is a matter of debate. Independently of these unresolved issues, prevention of hypertension development by lifestyle changes and adequate treatment and control to the hypertensive population will be a very effective measure in reducing stroke incidence, stroke recurrence, and stroke mortality., Blood, Pressure, as, a, Therapeutic, Target, in, Stroke
Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital Mutua Terrassa, University of Barcelona, Dr. Robert, 5, 08221 Terrassa, Spain.