Hypertension as a risk factor for spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage

Thomas Brott, Karen Thalinger, Vicki Hertzberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

267 Scopus citations


To better define the etiologic importance of hypertension for spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage, hospital records were studied for all patients sustaining intracerebral hemorrhage during 1982 in the Cincinnati metropolitan area. Hypertension pre-dating the hemorrhage was present in 45% (69 of 154), as determined by history. A more inclusive definition of hypertension, combining those with a positive history with those found to have left ventricular hypertrophy by electrocardiogram or cardiomegaly by chest radiography, applied in 56% (87 of 154). The cases were compared to controls with and without hypertension derived from the NHANES II study of blood pressure (n = 16,204) to determine relative risk. For the presence of hypertension by history, the relative risk of intracerebral hemorrhage was 3.9 (95% confidence interval, 2.7 to 5.7). For the inclusive definition of hypertension, the relative risk was 5.4 (3.7 to 7.9). Relative risk was also determined for hypertension in blacks (= 4.4), age > 70 (= 7), prior cerebral infarction (= 22), and diabetes (= 3). We conclude that the term “hypertensive hemorrhage” should be used very selectively, particularly in whites, and propose that hypertension be viewed as one of several important risk factors for spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1078-1083
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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