Prehypertension: Progression to hypertension and management considerations

Research paper by Stephen D. Persell

Indexed on: 11 Jul '07Published on: 11 Jul '07Published in: Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports


Prehypertension is a designation used by the Joint National Committee on the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure to describe untreated adults with blood pressure of 120 to 139 mm Hg systolic or 80 to 89 mm Hg diastolic. As the term implies, prehypertension frequently progresses to hypertension, though weight loss, exercise, and dietary changes can lower blood pressure and reduce the chance of progression to hypertension. Prehypertension often occurs along with other cardiovascular risk factors, such as dyslipidemia and impaired glucose metabolism. Prehypertension also carries independent cardiovascular risk. Recent clinical trials indicate that drug therapy should be considered for stable patients with prehypertension at high risk for cardiovascular disease or stroke. Whether using antihypertensive medication in lower risk persons with prehypertension is advantageous is not known.