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Even mildly high blood pressure increases the risk of vascular disease

Even people with mildly high blood pressure are twice as susceptible to brain and cardiovascular disease, including stroke and heart failure, than people with normal blood pressure, a Japanese study shows.

The higher the blood pressure, the greater the risk of such diseases, a research team from Yokohama City University said last month in an announcement of the study results.

“It is necessary to address the risk of disease development from the mild hypertension stage,” said team member Keisuke Kuwahara, an associate professor at the university.

The team surveyed 81,876 people aged 20 to 64 who had regular workplace screenings in fiscal 2010 or fiscal 2011 and were not receiving treatment for high blood pressure at the time. It conducted follow-up studies over nine years to investigate the relationship between blood pressure and disease development.

During the study period, 334 people developed brain or cardiovascular disease.

Of those, 55 belonged to the so-called high normal blood pressure group, whose systolic blood pressure, known as the top number, is 120-129 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and diastolic blood pressure, or bottom number, is lower. than 80 mmHg.

Those in the group had a 1.98 times greater risk of developing brain and cardiovascular disease compared to their counterparts in the normal blood pressure group with a first number below 120 mmHg and a second number below 80 mmHg.

The risk was 2.10 times higher in the elevated blood pressure group with values ​​of 130-139 mmHg and 80-89 mmHg, and 3.48-7.81 times higher in the stage 1 to 3 hypertension groups with values ​​of 140 mmHg and 90 mmHg or even higher.

According to the Japanese Society of Hypertension, the country has an estimated 43 million hypertensive patients. If the condition is not treated, atherosclerosis can worsen, increasing the risk of stroke and heart and kidney disease.

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