Definition of high blood pressure
What to do in case of hypertension?
For a better understanding of blood pressure The follow-up of a high blood pressure
High blood pressure damage High blood pressure and special cases
Why does high blood pressure exist? The self-measurement of blood pressure
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III - High blood pressure damage

3.1 - Acute crisis of blood pressure
3.2 - Sudden rise of blood pressure
3.3 - How to treat the sudden rise of blood pressure?
3.4 - Arterial complications and cerebral arterial damage
3.5 - High blood pressure also induces cardiac complications
3.6 - Another target of a high blood pressure: the renal complication

3.4 - Arterial complications and cerebral arterial damage

High blood pressure is responsible for many lesions on the wall of the arteries. All the arteries are essential for our body, but cerebral arteries are particularly important.


Two explanations can be provided to explain the occurrence of a stroke: either the blood does not arrive any more at the brain (the most frequent case) or there is a haemorrhage of the brain because a vessel broke because of a high blood pressure for instance.

Unfortunately, high blood pressure is often responsible for the damage to the brain arteries and constitutes the principal risk factor for a stroke.

Thus, 20% of the cardiovascular deaths in the United States are attributable to strokes, and 20% concern patients of less than 60 years old. In the United States, almost 500,000 strokes occur each year, and induce 158,000 deaths (a death every 3.4 minutes).

High blood pressure is a disease strongly responsible for strokes, but the other cardiovascular risk factors are also implied: cholesterol, tobacco, diabetes, overweight and age.

Nevertheless, high blood pressure plays an important role in strokes. Thus, a patient with high blood pressure is between 2 and 3 times more likely to have a stroke compared to a person who is not suffering from it.

Medical studies have actually shown that the higher the level of blood pressure the more significant the risk of a stroke.

Fortunately, treatments against high blood pressure have proved their efficiency in the prevention of a stroke. Thus, medical studies show that a 5 millimetres of mercury reduction on the minimal blood pressure (diastolic) induced a 42% reduction of the stroke.

File last reviewed on : 18 dec 2011
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