PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Analysis on a series of studies conducted on more than 500,000 thousand people finds slightly higher than normal blood pressure, known as pre-hypertension, can significantly increase one’s risk for stroke.

According to the report, if the top blood pressure number, the systolic number, is in the range of 120 to 129 the risk of stroke increases by 22-percent. When that number climbs to 130-139, the risk increases to 79-percent.

The authors of the study suggest that medication should be started earlier, but there is no doubt lifestyle intervention such as diet and increased exercise can help.

Now here’s my advice as we await further studies: this is not going to change. We will be heading in this direction and nobody should panic, but patients need to talk to their physician about ways to make changes which may include medication, lifestyle, or both.

Reported by Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio

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