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Risk Factors – High Blood Pressure

Risk Factors – High Blood Pressure

Risk Factors – High Blood Pressure
Transcript

When we talk about stroke, one of the most important things that we need to focus in on are the risk factors and stroke prevention. And these are the things that we all sort of know, but maybe we forget or don't pay attention to. And one of the best sort of sayings that I always hear because I think people keep in mind what's good for your heart. And we all know what's good for prevention of heart attacks. And one of the things you can always sort of remind yourself is that what's good for the heart is good for the brain. That being said, let's talk about what are the significant risk factors for stroke. The most important risk factor for stroke far and away is high blood pressure. And it's interesting of all the risk factors that we have, this is the one that's most clearly associated with stroke. And you know, then the question is, well, what's the ideal blood pressure? And no one knows that perfectly. Generally speaking, a neurologist and stroke neurologist once one people at about 120/80. So that's the systolic over diastolic 120/80 is the blood pressure that's the goal. It's interesting though, if we look at stroke studies, any blood pressure and we're now I'm talking about the top number, the systolic, any blood pressure over 115 bears some increased risk of stroke. So from my perspective, especially in someone who's had a stroke before the lower I can get that blood pressure, the better. Keep in mind that blood pressure is hard to control. Of the millions and millions of Americans that have high blood pressure, only 50% actually are well controlled. So this is one of those things that it's important to be talking with your neurologist, your cardiologist, your primary care provider, and recognize that it's not just medications. Medications play a crucial role in controlling blood pressure, but we need to be doing other things as well, such as watching your diet and particularly the sodium in your diet. And if you look at any package, you can see how much sodium is in any food. And you should be holding yourself, If you having problems with high blood pressure, you should be holding yourself to less than 1.5 grams or 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. And I'll tell you, it's hard to do. It sneaks up on you. And this is a really crucial thing for blood pressure control.

Doctor Profile

David Teeple, MD

Neurologist

  • Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in both Neurology and Neurophysiology
  • Special area of expertise is in Stroke, Epilepsy, Therapeutic Botox
  • Director of the Stroke Care Program at Tucson Medical Center

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