Prehypertension, Prediabetes Predict Heart Risk
1 in 3 Healthy Adults Has Prehypertension, 1 in 4 Has Prediabetes
WebMD News Archive
May 3, 2010 (New York) -- Prehypertension and prediabetes, especially when
they occur together, are early warning signs of heart disease in seemingly
healthy adults, according to new research presented at the American Society of
Hypertension's 25th annual meeting in New York.
"This is a clear, present, and preventable danger," says study researcher
Alok K. Gupta, MD, an assistant professor at the Pennington Center Biomedical
Research Center of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, during a
Two out of three sudden deaths occur in people who have not been diagnosed
with heart disease, and the new
study may provide important clues on how to identify these individuals before
it is too late, he says.
Prehypertension and Prediabetes
Prehypertension is defined as a systolic blood pressure reading between
120 and 139 and a diastolic blood pressure of 80 to 89. Systolic blood pressure
is the upper number in a blood pressure measurement and refers to the pressure
when the heart beats while pumping blood. Diastolic blood pressure, the lower
number, is the pressure when the heart is at rest between beats. A blood
pressure reading of less than 120/80 is considered ideal.
Prediabetes refers to blood sugar (glucose) levels between 100 to 125
milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). Ideal fasting blood levels should be
less than 100 mg/dL.
According to Gupta, one in three seemingly healthy people has
prehypertension, and one in four has prediabetes. One in 10 has both of these
Individuals with both prehypertension and prediabetes are also more likely
to be obese, have high levels of
markers of systemic inflammation, and high insulin levels compared to
their counterparts without these two "pre" conditions. These individuals also
had high total cholesterol levels, high levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) or "bad" cholesterol, high levels of
dangerous blood fats called triglycerides, and low levels
of high density lipoprotein (HDL) or "good" cholesterol, when compared to their
counterparts who did not have prediabetes or prehypertension, the study
The good news is that these conditions are easily identified, Gupta says.
Testing for prediabetes involves a finger stick test for blood glucose levels,
and resting blood pressure measurement can identify those individuals with
prehypertension, he explains.
"If you have both, you must initiate lifestyle changes," he tells WebMD.
"Losing about 7% of your body weight is known to help,
and so is incorporating 150 minutes of exercise a week," he says. "If
implemented and followed, this will reverse the subtle danger that exists."