Heart Risk Decreases with Pre-Hypertension

Cardiovascular risk lowered among seniors with elevated normal blood pressure

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) It's not uncommon for blood pressure to become elevated but still remain in the normal range as people age. That usually is associated with increased heart disease risk, but a study suggests that may not be the case for seniors.

Patients over the age of 60 with pre-hypertension experience a decrease in their risk for developing cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease.

"Have your blood pressure checked regularly."

F. Hadaegh, MD, from the Prevention of Metabolic Disorders Research Center in Iran, said the results reinforce the idea that high blood pressure is a serious heart disease risk in all age groups.

But he noted the findings also suggested when managing high normal blood pressure, resources should be focused on middle-age patients between the ages of 30 and 60 since individuals in that age group are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease as compared to older patients.

During the nine year study researchers evaluated the risk of various blood pressure categories among 6,273 participants over the age of 30. They found that patients with normal but elevated blood pressure who were between the ages of 30 and 60 were at a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease as compared to individuals with similar blood pressure that were 60 years old or older.

Patients diagnosed with high blood pressure were found to be at a similar risk of cardiovascular disease regardless of their age. Patients are considered to have hypertension with systolic blood pressure of 140 mmHg or higher or diastolic blood pressure of 90 mmHg or higher.

Normal high or pre-hypertension is categorized as having systolic blood pressure between 120 and 139 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure between 80 and 89 mmHg.

The study was presented April 20 at The World Congress of Cardiology Scientific Sessions in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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Review Date: 
April 20, 2012
Last Updated:
April 21, 2012