BP medications after stroke not beneficial: Study
Posted on Feb 20 2014 | IANS
New York, Feb 20 : Lowering blood pressure during the first 48 hours after a stroke does not reduce the likelihood of death or major disability, claims research.
Blood pressure often is elevated following a stroke.
"In most cases, treatment is unnecessary because the blood pressure declines naturally over time and lowering blood pressure may be contra-indicated," warned stroke specialist Jose Biller at Loyola University Medical Centre.
It is important not to overtreat and cause low blood pressure, because the most important objective is to maintain adequate blood flow to the brain, Biller advised.
Lowering blood pressure has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke. The study investigated whether there also would be a benefit to lowering blood pressure immediately after a stroke.
The study included more than 4,000 stroke patients in 26 hospitals across China who were randomly assigned to receive blood pressure medications or to discontinue blood pressure medications.
At 14 days or hospital discharge, there were no statistically significant differences between the groups in mortality or disability, said the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
It involved patients who had suffered ischemic strokes, which account for about 85 percent of all strokes.
Such strokes are caused by blood clots that block blood flow to a part of the brain.