What is prehypertension?

It can be a precursor to hypertension. High blood pressure is a common condition. Prehypertension, or high blood pressure, means a person is more likely to develop hypertension. This increases the risk of fatal diseases such as heart attacks and strokes. This article discusses prehypertension, its causes, treatment, and outlook.

What is prehypertension?

Prehypertension means that a person’s blood pressure is high but not high enough to be considered hypertension. However, today it is an outdated term. Now a doctor can diagnose someone with high blood pressure or stage 1 hypertension.

The following blood pressure values ​​are divided into two categories: systolic blood pressure (SBP), which is the highest number in the blood pressure measurement, and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), which is the highest number. low.

Normal <120 mm Hg <80 mm Hg
High 120-129 mm Hg <80 mm Hg
Stage 1 hypertension: 130-139 mm Hg 80-89 mm Hg
Stage 2 hypertension ≥140 mm Hg ≥90 mm Hg

Prehypertension has a SBP of 120-139 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and a TAD of 85-89 mm Hg.

Prehypertension vs Hypertension

Prehypertension is high blood pressure. A person’s blood pressure is higher than normal. However, it will not be high enough to be considered hypertension. Although high blood pressure is not synonymous with hypertension, it can still have adverse health effects. High blood pressure increases a person’s likelihood of developing high blood pressure in the future. To avoid this, people can take steps to control their blood pressure.

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They may try lifestyle changes, such as increasing physical activity, adopting a heart-healthy diet, and avoiding smoking. If a person has stage 1 hypertension, a doctor may recommend other changes. They may also prescribe blood pressure medications based on the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (AVCD), a condition that encompasses heart attack and stroke. The doctor will likely prescribe medication along with lifestyle changes for people with stage 2 hypertension.

Causes of prehypertension

Blood pressure naturally increases with age, so as people age they are more likely to develop high blood pressure.

Other factors that can cause an increase in blood pressure include:

the stress
a low level of physical activity

Symptoms of prehypertension

In general, there are no symptoms of high blood pressure. A person may not know they have it until they see a doctor for a checkup.
However, if a person has a hypertensive crisis, that is, if their blood pressure is 180/120 mm Hg or higher, they may experience headaches and nosebleeds. A hypertensive crisis is a medical emergency and requires urgent medical attention.

Various symptoms can be linked to high blood pressure, including:

bloodstains in the eyes
facial flushing

Risk factors for prehypertension

People with a family history of high blood pressure are more likely to develop the condition themselves. Additionally, people with a history of smoking or substance abuse have an increased risk of developing high blood pressure. Overweight or obese people with a BMI over 25 are also more likely to have prehypertension or hypertension. However, being overweight does not mean that a person will have high blood pressure. People who are moderate or low weight can also develop high blood pressure.

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Treatment of prehypertension

Doctors do not consider prehypertension to be a diagnosable condition, so there is no standard treatment. However, early detection can prevent a person from developing hypertension and the risks associated with it.

People with prehypertension may need lifestyle changes, including:

eating a heart-healthy diet
increase physical activity
reduce stress
stop smoking
limit alcohol consumption
maintain a moderate weight.

Depending on the individual’s progress with lifestyle changes, doctors may consider additional treatments, such as medications.


If a person follows the doctor’s recommendations regarding lifestyle changes and possibly medications, they should be able to control their high blood pressure. This decreases their likelihood of developing high blood pressure and associated cardiovascular health risks. According to a 2015 study, people with prehypertension are 2 to 3 times more likely to develop hypertension than people with normal blood pressure. It is therefore essential to take early and effective measures to reduce blood pressure.


Prehypertension is a now outdated term that refers to higher than normal blood pressure levels. Doctors now refer to it as high blood pressure or stage 1 hypertension. A person with prehypertension may have no symptoms and may not know their condition until they see a doctor. She can lower her blood pressure by making lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, cutting down on alcohol, exercising more, and eating a heart-healthy diet.


Egan, BM, et al. (2015). Prehypertension—prevalence, health risks, and management strategies.

Srivastava, A., et al. (2021). Prehypertension.

Whelton, PK, et al. (2017). 2017 ACC/AHA/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/AGS/APhA/ASH/ASPC/NMA/PCNA guideline for the prevention, detection, evaluation, and management of high blood pressure in adults: Executive summary: A report of the American college of cardiology/American heart association task force on clinical practice guidelines.

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* Presse Santé strives to transmit medical knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace medical advice. [HighProtein-Foods.com]

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