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High Blood Pressure & Stroke

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65-year-old David Larson was first diagnosed with borderline high blood pressure or pre-hypertension in his mid-20's.

"I just enjoyed life and a lot of fast food."

New research shows any blood pressure reading above normal may increase a patient's risk of stroke as much as 66%. Blood pressure between 120-over-80 and 139-over-89 is considered prehypertension. High blood pressure is 140-over-90 - and above.

It's estimated 31% of adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure and another 30% have pre-hypertension.

Doctors currently recommend a low sodium diet and exercise to treat prehypertension. Cardiologist Jahandar Saleh says the findings suggest more studies need to be done to see if medication would be a good option for some patients.

"I think if you were to consider pre-hypertension, now again, as a risk factor for stroke, then you are dealing with millions of Americans."

For years, David ignored his doctor's orders to change his habits. He eventually developed high blood pressure and suffered a heart attack.

"I figured that being borderline wasn't a problem."

He hopes others will take the advice he didn't.

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