Blood pressure reduced in stroke survivors those who believed in themselves and their ability to prevent the next stroke finds a new study.
Stroke survivors who believe they can protect themselves from having another stroke had more than twice the blood pressure reduction of nonbelievers, according to preliminary research to be presented in Honolulu at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2019, a world premier meeting for researchers and clinicians dedicated to the science and treatment of cerebrovascular disease.
High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for stroke and stroke recurrence. Studies have shown that patients' health attitudes and beliefs play a big role in how they take care of themselves.
Researchers found nearly 78 percent of the adults agreed that they could protect themselves from another stroke. Adults who agreed with that statement, alone, had an average 6.44 mm Hg greater reduction in systolic (the top number) blood pressure a year after their initial strokes, compared with adults who didn't feel empowered.
"Certain health beliefs, such as those related to patient empowerment, may play an important role in secondary stroke prevention," researchers said.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke funded the study.