Of the many risk factors behind stroke, high blood pressure (hypertension) is one of the most important and most widely recognized. It is also something that can be treated with lifestyle changes like diet and exercise, and if that is insufficient, many well-studied medications.
Nevertheless, nearly half of Americans with a history of stroke still had blood pressure that was out of control, according to a study by Dr. Towfighi at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Most of these patients had a known history of hypertension, but eight percent did not know that they had the disorder.
Few things can emphasize the need for control of risk factors like a stroke can. It seems unacceptable that so many people would still not have their blood pressure controlled, when this is something doctors do routinely and well. It would seem that more serious consideration of blood pressure on the parts of both patients and physicians is needed.