What is the relationship between High Blood Pressure and Stroke?

Published: 31st October 2008
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High blood pressure (hypertension) and stroke are closely related to each other. High blood pressure can be one of the most significant factors that cause a stroke. Of all the risk factors, having high blood pressure actually increases your risk factor.

Blood pressure is actually a measurement, using a device called sphygmomanometer, of the pressure exerted by the blood upon the walls of the blood vessels, especially the arteries. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, your heart must work harder to pump the blood as compared to what it should. Therefore, having high blood pressure will result in having an unnecessary strain on the vessels of the circulatory system.

Hypertension is also known as silent killer. Most people, unless diagnosed by a physician are not even aware that they have developed this condition. A person who suffers from high blood pressure actually does not exhibit any real symptoms. The only way to determine if you have it or not is with regular medical check ups.

High blood pressure is generally categorized in to three stages namely: mild, moderate or severe. Depending on the stage, this problem may also cause some serious life threatening diseases such as heart attack, kidney disease and heart failure. If hypertension is left untreated, permanent eye damage can also occur.

Normal blood pressure is considered to be around 120/80. Blood pressure readings are expressed as a fraction. The numerator is known as systolic. This is the pressure inside the artery as a pulse of blood arrives from the left ventricle of the heart. The denominator is known as diastolic. This is the resting pressure inside the artery between pulses is checked.

When the blood pressure is (consistent) around 140/90, hypertension or high blood pressure occurs. Studies and research have proved that a person with undiagnosed and un-treated hypertension has a risk factor that is four times greater to have a stroke as compared to one who has a normal blood pressure.

Stroke is the rapidly developing loss of brain functions due to a disturbance in the blood vessels supplying blood to the brain. This can be due to lack of blood supply, caused by thrombosis or embolism, or due to a hemorrhage.

A stroke is the damage to a part of the brain when its blood supply is suddenly cut off. Brain cells die during a stroke; abilities controlled by that area of the brain are lost. The result is abnormal brain function. Blood flow to the brain can be disrupted by either a blockage or rupture of an artery to the brain.

Stroke is a medical emergency and can cause permanent neurological damage, complications and death if not promptly diagnosed and treated.

So how does high blood pressure increase your risk of Stroke?

The most dangerous risk is having a stroke and there are numerous ways in which high blood pressure can increase the risk.

- High blood pressure enhances the arteries to narrow due to the fatty plaques build up (atherosclerosis).

- A blockage of blood flow to the brain, caused by dislodged cholesterol plaque from the walls of the artery (embolic stroke).

- Weakened arterial walls leading to breakage of vessel and bleeding into the brain (hemorrhagic stroke).

- Constant stress

- Rare malformations of the blood vessels inside the brain (hemorrhagic stroke).

As your blood pressure continues to rise and gets too high, your chances of having a stroke significantly increase.

A stroke causes a loss of brain function due to the lack of blood supply to the brain.

High blood pressure can also cause damage to blood vessels. The damage can be in the following forms:

1.Thickening of blood vessels

2.Formation of clot (thrombus)

3.Abnormal dilatation and breakage of vessels (aneurysm)

You should consistently monitor and keep track of your blood pressure in order to reduce the risk of stroke attack.


Mickey Lieberman uses his diverse medical background and experience to research helpful health information on numerous diseases and illnesses and provides useful resources for over 100 different medical conditions. For further information, Go to ==> http://www.helpful-health.com/diseases/stroke


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