Does Diagnosis of Hypertension Prevent Stroke? A Preliminary Investigation of Relative Frequency of Undiagnosed and Previously Diagnosed Hypertension Before First Stroke in a Lagos Hospital
Introduction: The present study was designed to determine the relative frequency of previously diagnosed and undiagnosed hypertension in first stroke in order to evaluate if previous diagnosis of hypertension can prevent stroke.
Patients and Methods: One hundred and twenty nine first stroke patients presenting at the emergency unit of a tertiary hospital in Lagos, Nigeria, were prospectively studied. Presence of hypertension and other modifiable risk factors was documented. History of diagnosis of hypertension before onset of focal neurological features was sought to categorize patients as having either known (previously diagnosed) or unknown (previously undiagnosed) hypertension.
Results: Significantly higher percentage of the 102 first stroke patients with hypertension were known hypertensives (77.4% versus 22.6% unknown). This was so irrespective of whether the patients had other modifiable risk factors.
Conclusion: Majority of our patients presenting with stroke were previously diagnosed hypertensives. Thus, diagnosing hypertension alone does not prevent stroke. Further studies are required to clearly define the impact of inadequate blood pressure control after diagnosis of hypertension (including poor drug compliance) and other risk factors.
Nig. Qt. J. Hosp. Med. Vol.12(1-4) 2002: 10-12