Prehypertension danger reaffirmed
People who have "prehypertension," blood pressure levels just below the cut-off for a diagnosis of high blood pressure (in the range of 120/80 to 139/89 mm Hg), have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a report in The American Journal of Medicine.
Researchers investigated the relationship between prehypertension and the risk of new cardiovascular disease in nearly 9,000 men and women. The rate of cardiovascular disease over the 11.6 years of follow-up increased significantly as blood pressure levels increased. Compared with patients with optimal blood pressure, those with high-normal blood pressure had a 2.5-fold risk of developing cardiovascular disease, after consideration of other cardiovascular risk factors.
Cardiovascular disease risk was especially high among blacks, diabetics, obese patients and those with LDL levels, the "bad" type of cholesterol, between 100 mg/dL and129 mg/dL, the investigators observed.
Prehypertension is clearly associated with a significant increase in cardiovascular disease," the researchers conclude.
- High blood pressure affects 65 million Americans.
- The American Heart Association estimates that 59 million Americans have prehypertension
- High blood pressure is a factor in 77 percent of strokes – the #3 cause of death in the United States.
- High blood pressure causes more visits to doctors than any other condition, accounting for 48 million visits per year.
Follow the guidelines to lower blood pressure.