Prehypertension is when your blood pressure rises above the range that is considered healthy. The higher your blood pressure, the harder your heart has to work to pump blood through your blood vessels. Over time, this will cause your heart to enlarge and put you at a greater risk for health problems such as stroke, heart disease and heart failure.

If your blood pressure puts you in the prehypertensive range (between 120/80 and 139/89) you should start to make some lifestyle adjustments. If left unchecked, prehypertension can lead to hypertension. Hypertension directly causes about 50,000 deaths in the United States each year and is a factor in even more. 

According to an article published in JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association), nearly 70 million Americans are prehypertensive, and many of them do not even know it.2 Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure at your next checkup. A simple test could help prevent future health problems.


Information on Prehypertension

In 2003, the JNC 7 issued new guidelines for what is considered a healthy blood pressure range based on a review of hundreds of studies and new evidence of greater risk associated with slightly elevated blood pressure. As a result, many patients who were previously considered to have "normal" blood pressure levels now fall into the new category of prehypertension. If not treated, prehypertension is almost guaranteed to develop into hypertension. According to an article published inJAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association), nearly 70 million Americans are prehypertensive.1

Visit the JNC 7 Guidelines