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‘Silent strokes’

I hear the expression ’silent killer’ for high blood pressure a lot. However, I don’t often hear the expression ’silent stroke’.

A new Australian study has shown that many people over the age of 60, especially those with high blood pressure, may have had a a ’silent stroke’ and don’t even know it.

What is a silent stroke?

A silent stroke is a small stroke that results in damage to brain tissue, due to a lack of oxygen to brain cells via the bloodstream.

Silent strokes are typically unnoticed by the sufferer, however they are not truly ’silent’. They are often associated with a decline in cognitive ability and dementia.

The silent stroke study

Researchers analyzed findings from 477 randomly selected Australians aged 60 to 64 years. The researchers took measurements of the group, including two MRI brain scans done 4 years apart. The MRI brain scans showed lacunar infarct, which is the medical term for ’silent stroke’.

A the beginning of the study, 7.8% had at least one lacunar infarct. After the second MRI 4 years later that had increased to 8.8%.

What the researchers found …

Those people with lacunar infarcts were 60% more likely to have hypertension, as well as higher systolic blood pressure and arterial pressure.

Four of the six new cases who developed a lacunar infarcts in the 4 year study, had a hypertension of 160/95Hgmm or more.

The study showed that high blood pressure is a significant risk factor for having a silent stroke.

Conclusion: treat hypertension!

The results show that treating hypertension and reducing this major risk factor can help to reduce the number of lacunar infarcts or silent strokes in people over 60 years old. The study was published in the journal Neurology.

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About Kellie

Kellie is 37 years old and together with her brother Steve makes up the My Health Software team.

She helps on the websites and gathering news for the programs. Kellie worked in the medical industry prior to having her two children (8 and 6) and has a strong interest in self awareness and management of health conditions.


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