Long-Term Secondary Prevention: Management of Blood Pressure After a Transient Ischemic Attack or Stroke.
McGurgan IJ., Kelly PJ., Turan TN., Rothwell PM.
Reducing blood pressure (BP) is a highly effective strategy for long-term stroke prevention. Despite overwhelmingly clear evidence from randomized trials that antihypertensive therapy substantially reduces the risk of stroke in primary prevention, uncertainty still surrounds the issue of BP lowering after cerebrovascular events, and the risk of recurrent stroke, coronary events, and vascular death remains significant. Important questions in a secondary prevention setting include should everyone be treated regardless of their poststroke BP, how soon after a stroke should BP-lowering treatment be commenced, how intensively should BP be lowered, what drugs are best, and how should long-term BP control be optimized and monitored. We review the evidence on BP control after a transient ischemic attack or stroke to address these unanswered questions and draw attention to some recent developments that hold promise to improve management of BP in current practice.