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Person using a blood sugar monitor.

Because blood pressure tends to rise as people get older, everyone's risk for high blood pressure increases with age. In addition, some medical conditions can also raise your risk of high blood pressure.


Prehypertension—blood pressure levels that are slightly higher than normal—increases the risk that you will go on to develop chronic high blood pressure.

Blood Pressure Levels
NormalSystolic: less than 120 mmHg
Diastolic: less than 80 mmHg
At Risk (Prehypertension)Systolic: 120–139 mmHg
Diastolic: 80–89 mmHg
HighSystolic: 140 mmHg or higher
Diastolic: 90 mmHg or higher


Diabetes affects the body's use of a hormone called insulin. This hormone tells the body to remove sugar from the blood. With diabetes, the body either doesn't make enough insulin, can't use its own insulin as well as it should, or both. This causes sugars to build up in the blood. About 60% of people who have diabetes also have high blood pressure.1


  1. NIH. The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure. [PDF–223K] Bethesda, MD: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; 2003.

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