Research Article

Effects of treatment for hypertension on cerebral haemorrhage and infarction.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 289 doi: (Published 21 July 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;289:156
  1. D G Black,
  2. A M Heagerty,
  3. R F Bing,
  4. H Thurston,
  5. J D Swales


    One hundred and sixty nine patients admitted to hospital for stroke over 30 months were examined to see whether treating hypertension had influenced the incidence of cerebral haemorrhage and infarction. Seventy eight (46%) of them had normal blood pressure, 47 (28%) previously diagnosed hypertension for which they were receiving treatment, and 44 (26%) previously undiagnosed and untreated hypertension. Haemorrhagic stroke was commoner among patients with untreated hypertension, whereas infarction was commoner in patients with treated hypertension. Infarction and haemorrhage were equally prevalent in patients with normal blood pressure. Effective treatment in this population seemed to have had a substantially different impact on vascular disease, giving rise to cerebral haemorrhage as opposed to infarction. This is consistent with evidence from other studies that treatment for hypertension has little or no effect on the progression of atheroma.