Don’t Leave High Blood Pressure Untreated
Left untreated, high blood pressure (HBP) may significantly increase your risk of developing a brain bleed, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2016.
Intracerebral hemorrhage is a type of stroke caused by a weakened blood vessel that ruptures and bleeds into brain tissue. HBP is a powerful determinant of risk for intracerebral hemorrhage.
Researchers examined six years of data from 4,646 patients who were white, black or Hispanic. Half of them had an intracerebral hemorrhage.
- Compared to people without HBP, untreated HBP increased the odds of a brain bleed by 9.5 times in whites, 9.7 times in Hispanics and 11.1 times in blacks.
- For patients with brain bleed and a previous diagnosis of HBP, HBP was more likely to not be treated in blacks (43.3 percent untreated) and Hispanics (48.3 percent) compared to whites (33.2 percent).
- Even when HBP was treated, blacks still had 75 percent higher odds and Hispanics had 50 percent higher odds of brain bleed, compared to whites.
“The average age for a brain hemorrhage is much younger in minorities, especially in African-Americans, so they may suffer more disability earlier in life than others,” said Kyle Walsh, M.D., study author and an assistant professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio.
Although it’s not completely clear why racial minorities have higher rates of untreated high blood pressure, a possible reason is access to medical care, Walsh said.
“It’s important to be aware of having high blood pressure in the first place, and once diagnosed, to have it treated appropriately,” Walsh said.
Source: American Heart Association News