Low Blood Pressure Predicts Mortality After Stroke

Those with low pressure at initial emergency room visit at greater risk in next 90 days

FRIDAY, Oct. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke patients with low blood pressure are more likely to die within 90 days of an emergency department visit than patients with blood pressure in the normal range, according to a study in the Oct. 25 issue of Neurology.

Latha G. Stead, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues studied 357 patients who presented to an emergency department within 24 hours of the onset of acute ischemic stroke. Blood pressure was measured by a nurse blinded to the study, and categorized as low, normotensive or high. The patients were followed up for 90 days after their emergency department visit.

Patients with low blood pressure (defined as diastolic pressure less than 70, systolic pressure less than 155, or mean arterial pressure less than 100 mm Hg) were more likely to die within 90 days than those with blood pressure in the normal range. The numbers held true even after adjustment for age, gender and other factors.

"There appears to be an optimal acute blood pressure range below which early mortality is greater following acute ischemic stroke, suggesting avoidance of hypotension in the first 24 hours," the researchers conclude.

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