High Blood Pressure

Frequently Asked Questions

5. What is "pre-hypertension?"

Pre-hypertension is a systolic blood pressure reading between 120-139 mmHg or a diastolic reading between 80-89 mmHg. (Blood pressure measurements are written one above or before the other -- for example, 120/80 mmHg. The top, or first, number is the systolic and the bottom, or second number, is the diastolic.)

If you have pre-hypertension, your chances of developing high blood pressure are greater than average unless you take action to prevent it. Pre-hypertension also increases your chances of heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Talk to your doctor or other health care provider about lowering your blood pressure. Making lifestyle changes, such as eating less sodium (salt) and taking other steps to follow a healthy eating plan, losing weight if you are overweight or obese, being more physically active, and/or drinking less alcohol may be all you need to do.