Medicine: Over The Line

Even moderately high blood pressure could be dangerous

Doctors have warned about the dangers of high blood pressure for nearly a century, ever since U.S. brain surgeon Harvey Cushing and others noted that measuring blood flow was a good way of determining how much stress the heart was under. But exactly what physicians mean by "high" has shifted over the years. Now it appears that the danger point may be lower than previously thought.

In a paper published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the University of Michigan's Dr. Stevo Julius reported that even people with "borderline" hypertension may sustain damage to their heart and...

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