High blood pressure, transient ischemic attack, and stroke

High blood pressure (hypertension) is considered the most important and most treatable risk factor for transient ischemic attack (TIA) and stroke. Proper treatment of high blood pressure can reduce the chance of having a TIA or stroke.

High blood pressure increases the pressure inside arteries, causing damage.

  • Excessive pressure on the walls of vessels speeds up hardening and narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
  • Aneurysms in the brain may develop, which can lead to a stroke and bleeding inside the brain (hemorrhagic stroke) if an aneurysm ruptures. Aneurysms are often caused by a defect present in the muscular wall of an artery since birth.

High blood pressure can be controlled with medications and changes in lifestyle. For more information, see the topic High Blood Pressure (Hypertension).

Last Updated: January 8, 2009

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