A study at the University of California, San Francisco, showed that, in womenwho suffer a stroke, the chance of suffering cognitive impairment increases in thepresence of high blood pressure (BP) prior to the stroke. Researchers believe thereason could be that preexisting damage from the high BP hinders recovery fromstroke.
Researchers studied 260 women who suffered a stroke between 1986 and 1988.Cognitive testing was performed within 2 years of the initial stroke and again at amedian of 1.9 years. Compared with women who had normal BP prior to the stroke,those with high BP showed significantly greater reductions in the rate at which theycompleted a cognitive function test.
The odds for decline in brain function after stroke were ~4 times greater inwomen with higher prestroke BP than in women with normal prestroke BP. Theinvestigators concluded that the higher BP could hinder a person's ability to recoverfrom or tolerate brain injury brought on by stroke.