High blood pressure and stroke: High blood pressure (hypertension) is the most important known risk factor for stroke. High blood pressure can cause damage to blood vessel walls, which may eventually lead to a stroke.
You can control your blood pressure by changing your diet and lifestyle. You can do this particularly through regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight.
Your doctor may also prescribe medication. Normal blood pressure is around 120/80; if your blood pressure is consistently over 140/90 you have high blood pressure.
It is important to know your blood pressure numbers. Contact our nearest Stroke Association Support network-Ghana Office for free blood pressure check.
UNDERSTANDING BLOOD PRESURE.
WHAT IS BLOOD PRESSURE?
Blood pressure is a measurement of the force your blood puts on blood vessel walls as it travels through your body.
What do your blood pressure numbers mean?
Your blood pressure reading is expressed with two numbers; for example, 120/80.
Blood pressure varies and if the reading is high, your doctor may measure your blood pressure on a number of occasions. You may be asked to monitor your blood pressure at a health facility or at home. There are a number of different blood pressure devices you may use to do this. Talk to your doctor about what is best for you.
What causes high blood pressure?
In most cases it is impossible to pinpoint an exact cause. However, there are a number of risk factors that have been linked to high blood pressure. These include:
• A family history of high blood pressure
• Age (blood pressure can rise as people get older)
• Men are more likely to have high blood pressure than women
• Being overweight
• Excessive alcohol drinking
• Lack of exercise
• A diet high in salt
High blood pressure can have many harmful effects which can eventually lead to a stroke. For example: high blood pressure puts extra stress on blood vessel walls. This can cause the blood vessel to weaken or breakdown, eventually leading to a stroke.
High blood pressure can speed up common forms of heart disease that can lead to stroke.
High blood pressure can cause blood clots or plaque (cholesterol and other fat-like substances) to break off artery walls and block a brain artery causing a stroke.