Hypertension damage starts before diagnosis, study finds

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It is widely known that hypertension is linked to heart attacks. Evidence now indicates that pre-hypertensive patients are also at risk.

Researchers at the Stroke Research Center at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey found that people in the "pre-hypertension" range are three-times more likely to suffer a heart attack than people with normal blood pressure. Pre-hypertension blood pressure readings range from 120/80 to 139/89.

Based on their findings, researchers recommend that pre-hypertensive patients follow the same lifestyle changes as people with a high blood pressure diagnosis. More than two-thirds of elderly 65 aged and older have been found to have high blood pressure.