Prehypertension is not a disease, but an indication that you’re at greater risk for developing hypertension. If your blood pressure is between 120/80 mmHg and 139/89 mmHg, you’re considered prehypertensive. Studies show that there is a strong relationship between elevated blood pressure and developing cardiovascular disease. People with prehypertension are advised to modify their lifestyles and diets to reduce their long-term risk of heart attack and stroke.

It’s important to pay close attention to your blood pressure, especially if you are prehypertensive. This means getting checkups at least once a year and talking with your provider about what you can do to bring your blood pressure down to the optimal range. At a minimum, getting regular exercise, reducing your sodium intake, and not smoking, using tobacco, or over-indulging in alcohol are good places to start – regardless of what range your blood pressure is in.