Prehypertension may double stroke risk

Researchers in Guangzhou, China, analysed results from 19 prospective cohort studies, mostly from the United States, China and Japan. 

They found that compared with normal blood pressure, people with readings of 120–129/80–84mmHg were 44% more likely to suffer a stroke. 

High-range readings of 130–139/85–89mmHg increased the likelihood by 95%. 

The term prehypertension has been controversial since it was first proposed as a classification by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in the United States in 2003. 

Some experts argue that the risk of people progressing to hypertension differs between those who are considered low-range hypertensive and those considered high-range.

A report last year from the European Society of Hypertension and the European Society of Cardiology classified 120–129/80–84mmHg as normal and130–139/85–89mmHg as high normal.