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VA Health Systems Research

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Spotlight: Hypertension and Stroke

June 2011


  • Search HSR&D publications for articles about stroke and hypertension.
  • Use the HSR&D citations database to search for peer-reviewed literature citations referencing these topics.

Selected HSR&D Projects & Studies

  • Read the Stroke-QUERI impact update describing their collaborative work with VA's Office of Quality and Performance to improve care for stroke patients.
  • Read the Stroke-QUERI impact update about the benefits of home-based telehealth care for stroke rehabilitation.
  • Read the abstract of a study by HSR&D investigators showing that self-management for hypertension can positively impact diabetes care.
  • Read the abstract of a study conducted by HSR&D investigators that shows the benefits of care management programs for those with hypertension.

Additional Resources

  • Visit the HSR&D Quality Enhancement Research Initiative's Stroke (Stroke-QUERI) website, and read their stroke information page for Veterans and their families.
  • Read about how VA researchers are looking at how to improve every aspect of stroke rehabilitation.
  • Learn more about the role of VA research in an ongoing, 80-site hypertension study.
  • Visit the VHA's MyHealtheVet high blood pressure information page.


Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for more than 1 out of every 15 1 deaths, and hypertension (high blood pressure) is a known, controllable risk factor for stroke.

Hypertension is the most common vascular risk factor among Veterans with stroke. Moreover, among Veterans, hypertension is the most common chronic condition, affecting more than 37% 2 of the Veteran population. Considerable evidence has shown that reducing blood pressure can contribute to a significant reduction in risk for stroke. However, despite widely available interventions (medication, lifestyle changes), many Veterans' hypertension is not being effectively managed.

VA estimates that 15,000 Veterans receive VA care for stroke each year 3 (approximately 6,000 VA admissions for acute ischemic stroke), with new strokes costing an estimated $111 million for acute inpatient care, $75 million for post-acute inpatient care, and $88 million for follow-up care in the first six months post-stroke. 4

To help decrease hypertension and stroke among Veterans, HSR&D investigators conduct a variety of studies that examine both conditions individually, as well as the association between the two. VA HSR&D also supports the Stroke Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (Stroke-QUERI), which works to reduce the risk of stroke by focusing on three main goals:

  • improving in-hospital management to reduce stroke morbidity and mortality
  • developing, evaluating, and integrating prevention strategies to reduce stroke among Veterans at high risk
  • supporting VA stroke policy decisions by collecting and reporting VA patient- and system-level data


1. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website, 2005 National Vital Statistics.

2. VA HSR&D Stroke Quality Enhancement Research Initiative website.

3, 4. VA HSR&D Stroke Quality Enhancement Research Initiative fact sheet.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.