Prehypertension Increases CVD Risk
People who have prehypertension—blood pressure (BP) levels just belowthe recommended level for true high BP—have a higher risk of cardiovasculardisease (CVD) than those with lower BP, according to a report by theUniversity of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. People with prehypertension, whichranges from 120/80 to 139/89 mm Hg, who are elderly, obese, diabetic, orAfrican American have an even higher risk of CVD. The findings were reportedin the February 2006 edition of the American Journal of Medicine.
Researchers investigated the correlation between prehypertension and therisk of new CVD in ~9000 men and women. At baseline, participants with high-normalBP also had a greater prevalence of traditional risk factors for CVD,compared with those in the ideal BP group. The rate of CVD over the 11.6years of follow-up increased significantly as BP levels increased, with a 2.5-fold greater risk of developing CVD in the prehypertension group, comparedwith those with normal BP. Most of the CVDs that emerged were related tocoronary heart disease rather than stroke.