Five things you need to know about high blood pressure and stroke


According to the American Heart Association, many people who’ve had a stroke also have high blood pressure.1 Learn about the connection between high blood pressure and stroke, and our focus on advancing the practice of less invasive stroke therapies.

1. What can I do to prevent high blood pressure?

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke in America.2 While our genetics, age and certain medical conditions can play a role in the diagnosis, there are things that each of us can do to reduce our risk of developing hypertension.3 The American Heart Association says maintaining a healthy weight through exercise, a diet low in sodium and sugar and limiting alcohol consumption can help.3 They also recommend that patients stop smoking and work with a physician to understand what your blood pressure should be, taking any prescribed medication to manage your levels.3

2. Why is high blood pressure referred to as a ‘silent killer’?

The healthcare community often refers to hypertension as a ‘silent killer,’ and as harsh as the term sounds, it can become true if blood pressure goes unmonitored and unmanaged. Most patients with hypertension won’t have any visible symptoms to signal that they have a health problem.2 However, a different story is occurring inside the body. Untreated hypertension can cause damage to arteries – they can get clogged and in the most serious cases, the artery may burst.1

3. Are there different types of strokes?3

Yes, there are different types of strokes. The one thing that both strokes listed below have in common is that they can both be caused by high blood pressure.

  • An ischemic stroke occurs when there is a blockage of blood flow to the brain, usually caused by a blood clot or another substance such as plaque.
  • A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a weakened blood vessel ruptures, causing blood to leak out of the vessel and into the surrounding brain tissue. One type of weakened blood vessel is an aneurysm. An aneurysm occurs when part of a blood vessel becomes weak and fills with blood, causing the vessel to balloon or bulge.

4. How are strokes treated?

Stroke generally happens suddenly, and medical care needs to be administered as quickly as possible. The best course of treatment depends on the type of stroke, the patient’s age, the severity of the stroke and other risk factors.

Stryker’s Neurovascular team offers a portfolio of Complete Stroke Care solutions to help physicians treat ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke with less invasive therapy options:

  • Endovascular clot removal is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that involves the physician navigating tiny FDA-cleared medical devices to the brain to try to remove the blockage in an ischemic stroke patient.
  • In hemorrhagic stroke, endovascular coiling may be an option for patients. Coiling is a minimally invasive procedure that can be used to treat a ruptured or unruptured aneurysm. Coils are placed into the aneurysm to help prevent blood flow from entering the aneurysm, thereby relieving the pressure pushing against the walls of the aneurysm. For aneurysms that have not ruptured, physicians may choose to preventatively treat them using flow diverting stents to stop the flow of blood into the aneurysm.


5. How has patient care in stroke treatment evolved over the past 10 years?

“When thinking about stroke care, it is impressive to see how far we have come. We are truly in the ‘golden era’ of neurovascular innovation” said Mark Paul, President of Stryker’s Neurovascular division. “At the same time, I think about how far we can still go. As technology advances, and as clinical questions are answered, it is the honor of a lifetime to be part of an organization that helps save lives around the world; and it’s exciting to see the evolution of technologies happening up close.”

Advanced product technologies such as our Target Detachable Coil, Surpass Evolve Flow Diverter, Trevo NXT ProVue Retriever and AXS Vecta Intermediate Catheter, allow treating physicians to select the right tool to treat any aneurysm, while clinical trials such as the DAWN Trial and other studies have helped formulate stroke care guidelines worldwide.

Improving stroke care starts before and goes beyond the point of treatment. Programs like our SKILL Medical Education create dynamic experiences that bring learning to the cutting edge, and help physicians continuously increase their skills and stroke practice. We’re also committed to helping physicians address the challenges of stroke management with programs like StrokEnomics, where our team equips healthcare teams with the highest level of clinical and economic data to  formulate strategies that help them navigate funding barriers. Through this program healthcare systems  increase patient access to the best treatment modalities and quality of care.