Prehypertension Raises Risk Of Stroke
Prehypertension, a condition where blood pressure is only slightly above normal, may raise the risk of stroke, according to a new study.
Researchers reviewed data from over half a million adults in 12 previous studies about blood pressure and stroke. Results showed that people with prehypertension who had no history of heart disease were 55 percent more likely to have a stroke than those with normal blood pressure. Thos in the upper range of prehypertension, defined as a 130 to 139 mmHg systolic blood pressure and 85 to 89 mmHg diastolic blood pressure, had a 79 percent increased risk of stroke.
"The message for patients is that stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States, and if you do fall into [the prehypertensive] category you should take it very seriously and strongly consider a change in lifestyle to try and reduce your risk of stroke," said Bruce Ovbiagele, lead author of the study and a professor of neuroscience at University of California, San Diego, as quoted by Health Day.
Ovbiagele added that the impact of prehypertension may be obscured in people over age 65, because "age is such a powerful factor putting people at risk of stroke that we think it overwhelms any added contribution from the slightly higher blood pressure."
People with prehypertension should make sure to reduce their alcohol intake, smoking, and sodium intake, in addition to maintaining a normal body mass index and exercising for at least 30 minutes per day.
The research was published the journal Neurology.