Do You Have Prehypertension?
If you believe you have low or normal blood pressure, you may be off the mark. You might have prehypertension. The information below will help you find out where you stand and what you can do to control your blood pressure if you have prehypertension.
|Category||Systolic blood pressure (mmHg)||Diastolic blood pressure (mmHg)||Lifestyle changes advised||Drugs usually recommended|
|Normal||Less than 120||Less than 80||Encouraged||No|
|Stage 1 hypertension||140-159||90-99||Yes||Yes|
|Stage 2 hypertension||160 or more||100 or more||Yes||Yes|
|Source: Chobanian AV, Bakris GL, Black HR, et al. The seventh report of the Joint National Committee on prevention, detection, evaluation, and treatment of high blood pressure. JAMA. 2003;289:2560-2572.|
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is diagnosed when a blood pressure reading of 140/90 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) or greater is noted. The level must be seen on at least two readings to be officially diagnosed. The upper number is the systolic pressure when your heart contracts. The lower number is the diastolic pressure when your heart relaxes.
Prehypertensive patients are more likely to develop full-blown hypertension. They are also more likely to develop associated health problems. Heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and blindness are all associated with hypertension.
Studies indicate that cardiovascular risk increases as blood pressure rises above 115/75 mmHg. In fact, your risk doubles with every 20 mmHg rise in systolic pressure or with every 10 mmHg rise in diastolic pressure.
Last reviewedApril 2012by Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.