A US study has shown that people with high normal blood pressure (i.e. blood pressure levels between 130/85 and 139/89 mm Hg) progress to high blood pressure (140/90 mm Hg or higher) within next 4 years.
The study was conducted on 9,845 men and women and it showed that around 5% of people with optimal blood pressure (i.e. 120/80 mm Hg), 18% with normal blood pressure (i.e. 129/84 mm Hg) and 37% with high normal blood pressure progressed to high blood pressure within next 4 years.
The findings also showed that weight has an additional role to play in development of high blood pressure. It was observed that people who gained 5% weight during the study were 20-30% more likely to develop high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a potential risk factor for heart disease and if left uncontrolled, can lead to heart failure, stroke (lack of oxygen in brain leading to paralysis) and kidney failure. Therefore it is strongly recommended that people with high normal blood pressure should get their blood pressure readings taken and checked every year. Those with normal blood pressure should get it checked every 2 years.