Hypertension and TIA

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Transient ischemic attack is a medical emergency because early stroke risk after transient ischemic attack is high. Hypertension is the most important modifiable risk factor for stroke and transient ischemic attack. The aims of this review are to provide a summary of the current knowledge concerning the relationship between blood pressure and transient ischemic attack, as well as outline issues regarding diurnal variation and the potential of chronotherapy (timing medications to accord with diurnal patterns of blood pressure). There is a strong relationship between hypertension and the incidence of transient ischemic attack and the subsequent short-term risk for stroke. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is a reliable diagnostic and monitoring tool for hypertension and provides additional information about diurnal variation in blood pressure. Different diurnal blood pressure patterns may confer variable stroke risk. Patients with stroke commonly have abnormal diurnal blood pressure patterns and this may relate, in part, to autonomic nervous system dysfunction. However, blood pressure patterns have not been systematically studied in patients with transient ischemic attack. Blood pressure remains poorly controlled in a large proportion of patients after transient ischemic attack and under-treatment and poor adherence are important factors. Chronotherapy for blood pressure may result in more effective blood pressure control. More research is needed in this area. Hypertension is strongly associated with transient ischemic attack. Diurnal blood pressure patterns may influence subsequent stroke risk after transient ischemic attack and more evidence is needed to inform clinical practice to improve blood pressure management for transient ischemic attack patients.

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