Blood pressure control and primary prevention of stroke: summary of the recent clinical trial data and meta-analyses

Curr Hypertens Rep. 2013 Dec;15(6):559-74. doi: 10.1007/s11906-013-0401-0.


Stroke is the second most common cause of death worldwide and of adult disability, but in the near future the global burden of cerebrovascular diseases will rise due to ageing and adverse lifestyle changes in populations worldwide. The risk of stroke increases at blood pressure levels above 115/75 mm Hg and high blood pressure (BP) is the most important modifiable risk factor for stroke, associated with 54 % episodes of stroke worldwide. There is strong evidence from clinical trials that antihypertensive therapy reduces substantially the risk of any type of stroke, as well as stroke-related death and disability. The risk attributed to BP is associated not only with absolute values but also with certain parameters describing BP diurnal pattern as well as short-term and long-term variability. Many studies reported that certain features of BP like nocturnal hypertension, morning surge or increased variability predict an increased stroke risk. However, there is no accepted effective modality for correction of these disturbances (chronotherapy, certain classes of antihypertensive drugs). In the elderly, who are mostly affected by stroke, the primary prevention guidelines recommend treatment with diuretics and calcium channel blockers to lower blood pressure to the standard level.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Hypertension / prevention & control
  • Stroke / drug therapy*
  • Stroke / etiology
  • Stroke / physiopathology
  • Stroke / prevention & control*


  • Antihypertensive Agents