Mild Hypertension Found to Triple Kidney Failure Risk : Science File / An exploration of issues and trends affecting science and the environment

From Times staff and wire reports

A major study begun in the 1970s shows that mildly high blood pressure triples the usual risk of kidney failure. Nearly 200,000 Americans must undergo dialysis or transplants each year because their kidneys have failed, and one-fourth of them die.

Normal blood pressure is below 120 over 80. A team from Johns Hopkins University reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that men with blood pressures in the range 140 over 90 to 159 over 99, considered only mildly elevated, are three times as likely to develop kidney failure as men with lower blood pressure. The increased risk was about 15 per 100,000.