Prehypertension Linked With Increased Stroke Risk

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Meta-analysis shows increased risk of stroke for BP of 120/80 mm Hg or higher.
Meta-analysis shows increased risk of stroke for BP of 120/80 mm Hg or higher.

Prehypertension is associated with increased risk of stroke, according to research published in Neurology.

Yuli Huang, M.D., of Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China, and colleagues performed a meta-analysis of 19 prospective cohort studies, involving 762,393 participants, to examine the association between prehypertension and risk of stroke. Low-range prehypertension was defined as 120-129/80-84 mm Hg, and high-range prehypertension was defined as 130-139/85-89 mm Hg.

The researchers found that, compared with optimal blood pressure of less than 120/80 mm Hg, prehypertension was associated with increased risk of stroke (multivariate-adjusted relative risk [RR], 1.66; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.51 to 1.81). The risk of stroke was significantly higher for high-range prehypertension (RR, 1.95; 95 percent CI, 1.73 to 2.21) than for low-range prehypertension (RR, 1.44; 95 percent CI, 1.27 to 1.63).

"After adjusting for multiple cardiovascular risk factors, prehypertension is associated with stroke morbidity," the authors write. "Although the increased risk is largely driven by high-range prehypertension, the risk is also increased in people with low-range prehypertension."

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