Stroke and Hypertension in Children and Adolescents

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Hypertension is the single most important modifiable risk factor for adult stroke. Stroke mortality has significantly decreased over the last 5 decades; this decline has been mainly associated to improved blood pressure control. Though much less prevalent than in adults, stroke is an increasingly recognized cause of morbidity and mortality in children. Although hypertension has not been strongly identified as a risk factor in childhood stroke yet, there is preliminary evidence that suggests that elevated blood pressure may be associated with stroke in children. This review summarizes the literature that may link elevated blood pressure to the development of childhood ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. The authors suggest that elevated blood pressure may be a significant risk factor that, alone or in combination with other multiple risk factors, leads to the development of stroke in childhood. It is therefore recommend that blood pressure be measured and assessed carefully in every child presenting with acute stroke.

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