Medicine: How High Is High?

High blood pressure, by itself, is not a disease and never killed anybody. Even in its commonest disease form, which doctors call "essential hypertension," damage to the kidneys and other organs is the result of changes in the small arteries, not of the high blood pressure. Yet countless people start worrying themselves sick when they are told they have a high reading.

Well aware of such laymen's worries, Dr. Arthur M. Master of Manhattan's Mount Sinai Hospital and Dr. Louis I. Dublin of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. asked themselves: How high is high blood pressure? To get the answer, they had...

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