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Medical News and Perspectives
May 10, 2006

Experts Ponder Treating Prehypertension

JAMA. 2006;295(18):2125-2126. doi:10.1001/jama.295.18.2125

Patients with blood pressure in the high normal range but below the hypertension threshold are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease. So how should physicians treat them?

Current guidelines say that patients with “prehypertension” (systolic blood pressure of 120-139 mm Hg and/or diastolic blood pressure of 80-89 mm Hg) are not candidates for drug therapy but should be “firmly and unambiguously advised to practice lifestyle modification in order to reduce their risk of developing hypertension in the future” (http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/hypertension/jnc7full.pdf).

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