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Hypertens Res. 2012 Jun;35(6):648-53. doi: 10.1038/hr.2012.7. Epub 2012 Feb 9.

Association of severe hypertension with pneumonia in elderly patients with acute ischemic stroke.

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Department of Geriatric Medicine, Kanazawa Medical University, Ishikawa, Japan.


Pneumonia is one of the most frequent complications in elderly patients with acute ischemic stroke. Although severe hypertension is often observed in the early phase of acute stroke, there are few studies of acute hypertension as a factor influencing the incidence of stroke-associated pneumonia (SAP) in elderly subjects with acute ischemic stroke. To assess the association of acute phase blood-pressure elevation with the incidence of SAP, we compared 10 elderly patients with acute ischemic stroke complicated with severe hypertension (≥ 200/120 mm Hg) with 43 patients with moderate hypertension (160-199/100-119 mm Hg), as well as with 65 control normotensive or mildly hypertensive (<160/100 mm Hg) controls on admission. Data were collected on known risk factors, type of ischemic stroke and underlying chronic conditions. The significance of differences in risk factors was analyzed using univariate and multivariate comparisons of 38 SAP cases and others, 8 SAP death cases and others, and 28 patients with poor outcome associated with in-hospital death or artificial feeding at discharge and others. After adjustment for potential confounding factors, the relative risk estimates for SAP, SAP death and poor outcome were 2.83 (95% confidence interval 1.14-7.05), 5.20 (1.01-26.8) and 6.84 (1.32-35.4), respectively, for severe hypertension relative to normotensive or mildly hypertensive controls. We conclude that severe hypertension on admission is an independent predictive factor for SAP in elderly patients with acute ischemic stroke.

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