About a quarter of highly dangerous
bleeding strokes would be prevented if people with high blood pressure
received treatment, according to a Medical Center study.
Daniel Woo, MD, and his team studied 549
patients to determine whether those with untreated blood pressure,
which is "highly prevalent," face a different risk of bleeding stroke
than treated patients.
Although both untreated and treated
patients were found to be at significant risk, the researchers
determined that blood pressure treatment would have prevented 17 to 28
percent of the bleeding strokes.
African-Americans especially were at a
higher risk of having untreated hypertension. However, if patients had
medical insurance there was no difference in the rate of untreated
hypertension, suggesting that access to health care is a significant
factor in stroke prevention.
Stroke is the third leading cause of
death and the leading cause of disability in the U.S. Bleeding occurs
in 20 percent of all stroke cases and results in a 40 to 50 percent
Dr. Woo is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology.