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Prehypertension Tied To Stroke Risk

September 28, 2011, 5:22 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Prehypertension Tied To Stroke Risk
Less is more, especially when it comes to blood pressure. A new study found that people with blood pressure that's slightly above normal, may be more at risk of having a stroke.

"What they found is that individuals with prehypertension, defined as systolic blood pressure greater than 130 or diastolic greater than 85 in middle-aged individuals were at higher risk of developing stroke than the general population," Neurologist, Dr. Ed Mann said.

Researchers analyzed more than 500,000 cases gathered during 12 previous studies involving blood pressure and stroke. Those with prehypertension were 50 percent more likely to develop a stroke compared to people with normal blood pressure levels.

If you are under 65 with prehypertension, your chances of developing a stroke are nearly 80 percent. Doctors estimate one out of every three Americans has a slightly elevated blood pressure and further studies are needed to determine how to decrease their stroke risk. Your best bet is to keep your blood pressure under control at all times.

"What it does suggest, however, is that, A, you need to pay attention. And, B, you need to develop changes in your lifestyle to deal with that mild elevation in blood pressure, whether that's going to the gym, restricting your diet, restricting salt in your diet, losing weight," Manno said.

The results of the study were published in the medical journal, " Neurology." Common treatments for elevated blood pressure can include medication, changes in your diet and exercise.

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