Treating prehypertension: A review of the evidence
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Although the term “prehypertension” has been challenged by some, its use to define people with systolic blood pressure (BP) between 120 and 139 mm Hg and/or diastolic pressures between 80 and 89 mm Hg has gained general acceptance. The category includes as many people as the number who have hypertension, defined as blood pressure of 140/90 or above. Such people are clearly at an increased risk of cardiovascular damage compared with people with BPs below 120/80 mm Hg. The major unresolved issue is the appropriate management of such patients. Two trials have attempted to document the value of short-term drug therapy to prevent the progression of BP to overt hypertension, but no outcome studies are currently available.
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