Heart Beat: December 2011

Just having slightly high blood pressure may significantly raise your risk of having a stroke, according to research published Sept. 28 in the journal Neurology. A review of 12 studies involving more than 500,000 people found that adults who had pre-hypertension-defined as have a systolic blood pressure between 120 and 139 mmHg or diastolic pressure between 80 and 89 mmHg-had a 55 percent increased risk of having a stroke compared to adults whose blood pressure fell within the normal range. The American Heart Association notes that blood pressure is the most powerful determinant of stroke risk. Individuals younger than 65 were at greater stroke risk due to pre-hypertension than older adults, many of whom have other risk factors that influenced their stroke risk.
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