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Blood pressure guidelines 'irrelevant' to stroke sufferers

27th February 2006

Blood pressure guidelines for those who have suffered a stroke may not be applicable to many patients, according to latest research.

A study published in this week's British Medical Journal (BMJ) reveals that advice currently given to patients stresses the importance of lowering blood pressure after a stroke.

However, studies show that these guidelines focus on the result of a progress trial carried out only on people who have suffered from stroke in hospitals.

Now scientists from the University of Birmingham are questioning whether these same instructions should also be issued to patients in primary care.

The research team compared the characteristics of stroke patients in general practice surgeries to those of the participants in the progress trials.

They discovered that patients in surgeries were 12 years older than those in the trials and they were twice as likely to be female.

The average time that has passed since those in surgeries had suffered a stroke was between two to three years, compared to just eight months in the progress trial.

It was concluded that the differences in the results were so great that further research was required before generic guidelines are decided upon.