'Healthy Thoughts' May Lower Blood Pressure in Stroke Survivors

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Stroke survivors who believe they can take steps to prevent a subsequent brain attack have significantly lower blood pressure than survivors who feel hopeless and unable to improve their health, suggests preliminary research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2019 in Honolulu.

Hypertension is a primary risk factor for ischemic stroke, as well as for stroke recurrence, and controlling blood pressure is crucial for a person who has had a stroke. To determine if certain attitudes and beliefs can affect blood pressure after stroke, researchers asked 434 adult survivors of mild-to-moderate stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA, mini stroke) whether they agreed with or disagreed with statements like:

  • "I worry about having a stroke."
  • "I can protect myself against having a stroke."
  • "Some people are more likely to have stroke than others."

The nearly 78 percent of those who agreed that they could protect themselves from having another stroke had an average 6.44 mm Hg greater reduction in systolic (the top number) blood pressure one year later, compared to those who didn’t agree with that statement.

Sourced from: American Heart Association