Prehypertension is defined as slightly raise in blood pressure. Prehypertension will mostly turn into high blood pressure (hypertension) unless you make lifestyle changes, such as getting more exercise and eating healthier foods. Both prehypertension and high blood pressure increase your risk of heart attack, stroke and heart failure. Prehypertension is a systolic pressure from 120 to 139 millimetres of mercury (mm Hg) or a diastolic pressure from 80 to 89 mm Hg.
This Prehypertension does not cause symptoms. In fact, severe high blood pressure may not cause symptoms. The only way to detect prehypertension is to keep track of your blood pressure readings. Have your blood pressure checked at each doctor's visit - or check it yourself at home with a home blood pressure monitoring device. Ask your doctor for a blood pressure reading at least once every two years starting at age 18. You may need more-frequent readings if you have prehypertension or other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Treatment: Any factor that increases pressure against the artery walls can lead to prehypertension. Atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of fatty deposits in your arteries, can lead to high blood pressure. Sometimes an underlying condition causes blood pressure to rise. Certain medications - including birth control pills, cold remedies, decongestants, over-the-counter pain relievers and some prescription drugs - also may cause blood pressure to temporarily rise. Illegal drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines, can have the same effect.
Statistics: In Canada, the survey on Prehypertension gives the result as of the 1388 patients who met the inclusion criteria, 389 had a diagnosis of hypertension. Of the 999 who did not have a diagnosis of hypertension, 306 (30.6%) met the criteria for prehypertension used in this study (systolic BP of 130 to 139 mm Hg or diastolic BP of 85 to 89 mm Hg). Men and older patients (60 to 80 years of age) were more likely to have prehypertension than other patients were. Of the patients with hypertension, 254 (65%) had achieved a BP level of < 140/90 mm Hg. The majority of hypertensive patients were prescribed 1 or 2 medications. Only 4.5% were using more than 2 different medications.