Women who have already had a heart attack or stroke, even slightly raised blood pressure levels can give a higher risk of having another cardiac event . The finding holds true even in the case of women who have only slightly elevated blood pressure to begin with say researchers.
The increased risk kicked in when the systolic pressure rose to 130, the number considered by doctors to represent borderline-high blood pressure. Those with readings between 130 and 139 were about 28 percent more likely to have another heart problem as those with readings in the 120-129 range.
For the study more than 5,000 female health professionals who all had cardiovascular events in the past were followed for about six-and-a-half years. During that time, researchers found a 9-percent increased risk for another cardiac event for every 10 millimeters of mercury increase in systolic blood pressure -- the top number in a blood pressure reading.