Background: Hypertension is an important risk factor of coronary heart disease. A new guidelines for hypertension prevention and management in The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure in the United States recommended lifestyle modification or medical treatment for subjects with prehypertension. However, whether prehypertension increases the risk of coronary atherosclerosis in the Japanese population is still unknown. Methods: A cross-sectional study in a clinical setting was conducted. The subjects were 705 patients (417 males and 288 females) aged 30 years and older who underwent a first-time coronary angiography for suspected or known coronary heart disease at 5 major cardiology departments in the Fukuoka metropolitan area between September 1996 and August 1997. Results: Compared to subjects with normal blood pressure, those with prehypertension had an increased risk of coronary atherosclerosis even after adjusting for other factors. Conclusion: Prehyertension may be an important clinical entity which requires treatment in the Japanese population.
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