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Stroke. 1986 Sep-Oct;17(5):861-4.

Blood pressure course in patients with acute stroke and matched controls.


The natural course of blood pressure (BP) was studied after emergency hospitalization in 209 consecutive stroke patients and as many age and sex matched controls. Histories of hypertension were more common among patients than controls (46% vs 26%). On admission 69% of the stroke group and 36% of the controls had BP greater than or equal to 170/100 mm Hg. In the first four days there was a spontaneous BP decline, which was greater the higher the initial values. During the whole hospitalization though, stroke patients with previous hypertension had the highest BP levels and previously normotensive controls the lowest. Even if WHO as well as the Joint Committee for Stroke have recommended cautious antihypertensive therapy in stroke patients with extreme hypertension, such therapy is not evaluated. If this is to be done, the present findings have to be taken into consideration. Stroke controls, matched according to the initial BP level, will thus be required.

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