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High Blood Pressure and Stroke

Aug 18, 2007
High blood pressure (hypertension) is among the first causes of stroke. Almost 70% of all strokes are caused by hypertension, the statistics say. Moreover a person with hypertension is four times more likely to have stroke than a person with healthy blood pressure.

Having read the above, you probably have at least a few questions ready in your mind. We have tried to answer them below.

What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the measurement of the force that the blood exercises over the arteries walls when passing through. If the hypertension is high the blood is putting extra pressure to the artery walls.

What causes hypertension?
Hypertension is caused by various factors including an unhealthy diet (including a lot of salt and fats), obesity, lack of exercise, smoking, stress, drinking abuse, drug abuse, high cholesterol, family history of cardiovascular problems, diabetes, gender (men are more likely to suffer from hypertension).

Why hypertension is a risk factor for stroke?
Hypertension has different effects over the human body. It can accelerate the effect of atherosclerosis (narrowing the walls of the blood vessels because of build-up of fatty plaques). These plaques can be off the artery walls and can block the blood supply to the brain and to cause a stroke. In addition chronic hypertension weakens the walls of the blood vessels which increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke (caused by bleeding within the brain). In other cases hypertension helps thicken artery walls due to the constant strain applied which reduces their flexibility and makes them fragile and easy to rupture. This may also result into a stroke.

What shall I do to prevent stoke if I have high blood pressure?

First of all ask your doctor to carry the required tests and estimate the severity of the problem. He will prescribe you some medications that will normalize your blood pressure. If you have close relatives suffering from cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure in particular, start making regular checks early. One of the great dangers is that many people suffer from hypertension and don't even realize it this is due to the fact that there are no symptoms at the begging. A healthy diet will greatly help improve not only your overall health but the health of your cardiovascular system. A low-salt diet rich of fibers is great for this purpose. However consult with a specialist and don't just apply a diet of your own. Try to reduce stress as much as possible. Quit smoking. Smoking is a stroke factor on its own and on the top of this it is among the risk factors for high blood pressure. The substances contained in cigarette smoke increase the blood pressure, increase the cholesterol levels and harm oxygen supply
About the Author
Keith Londrie II is the Webmaster of http://life-after-strokes.info A website that specializes in providing information on
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