Uncontrolled Blood Pressure Leads to Brain Bleeds in Africa

by Rishika Gupta on Jan 27 2018 10:53 AM

Uncontrolled Blood Pressure Leads to Brain Bleeds in Africa
In sub-Saharan Africa, high blood pressure was associated with intracerebral hemorrhage (bleeding within the brain) which accounts for more than 90 percent of this type of lethal stroke. The findings of this research are presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2018.
High blood pressure (hypertension) is an well known important risk factor for stroke. High blood pressure can cause damage to blood vessel walls, which may eventually lead to a stroke.

Bleeding within the brain has taken a dreaded toll on working-age people in Nigeria and Ghana, with high blood pressure.

In a new report from the Stroke Investigative Research and Educational Network, researchers studied 682 patients (average age 53.7 years) at 15 sites in Nigeria and Ghana who experienced brain bleeds.

Bleeding strokes accounted for 32.2 percent of all strokes in the study (a much higher percentage than in the United States).

Of the bleeding strokes, 93.9 percent were determined to be related to high blood pressure, 7.2 percent to structural abnormalities such as a bulging weak area of a blood vessel, and much smaller percentages to other medical conditions or medication use.

Comparing patients with high blood pressure-related brain bleeds to the same group of people in the same communities without stroke, the researchers found that the risks were:
  • 2.33 times as high in people with diabetes
  • 2.22 times as high in people who reported more stress at home and work
  • 1.69 times as high in people with abnormal cholesterol levels
  • 10.01 times as high in tobacco smokers
  • 64 percent lower in people who reported eating more green, leafy vegetables.
Green leafy vegetables were also found to be protective against Intra-cerebral hemorrhage (brain bleeds), according to this large study. Researchers say reducing stress and increasing green leafy vegetable consumption may be a novel way to reduce the rates of brain bleeds.