For individuals with stroke, consistency of blood pressure (BP) control during two years of follow-up affects outcomes, according to a study published online March 27 in Stroke.

Amytis Towfighi, M.D., from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues conducted a post-hoc analysis of 3,680 individuals from the Vitamin Intervention for Stroke Prevention Trial with recent stroke (<120 days) who were followed for two years. Participants were categorized according to the proportion of visits in which blood pressure was controlled (<140/90 mm Hg).

The researchers found that controlled BP was achieved by 30 percent of participants ≥75 percent of the time. For individuals with baseline systolic BP above 132 mm Hg, consistency of BP control affected outcomes. For individuals with baseline systolic BP >75th percentile (>153 mm Hg), lower risks of primary (stroke) and secondary (stroke, myocardial infarction, or vascular death) outcomes were seen for those with BP controlled at ≥75 percent versus <25 percent of visits (adjusted hazard ratios, 0.46 and 0.51, respectively).

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The risks of primary and secondary outcomes were lower for those with mean follow-up BP of <140/90 mm Hg versus ≥140/90 mm Hg (adjusted hazard ratios, 0.76 and 0.76).

“Fewer than one-third of patients with stroke had BP controlled ≥75 percent of the time for two years,” the authors write. “Consistency of BP control among those with elevated baseline systolic BP was linked to reduction in risk of recurrent stroke and stroke, myocardial infarction, and vascular death.”