Prevalence of Prehypertension among Saudi Adults: A Narrative Review

Hanan Al-Kadi1, *
1 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

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Creative Commons License
© 2022 Hanan Al-Kadi

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Tel: 00966 555684804; Fax: 00966 126400592; E-mail:



Prehypertension is a pre-disease state wherein an individual has a blood pressure (BP) measurement above normal (≥120/80 mmHg) but below the hypertensive range (<140/90 mmHg). Large population-based studies have shown that individuals with a BP in the prehypertensive range have an increased risk of developing hypertension and cardiovascular events. Despite these risks and high mortality rates associated with pre-hypertension, there are currently no reviews that define the prevalence of pre-hypertension in the Saudi population.


To determine the magnitude of the pre-hypertension problem among Saudi adults and identify areas for future research based on the current gaps in the literature.


This narrative review considers studies addressing the prevalence of pre-hypertension among Saudi adults; 8 studies were identified for this review.


In total, 14,782 men and women participated in these studies. The overall prevalence of pre-hypertension in both sexes ranged from 18.5-54.9%. Men had higher rates of pre-hypertension (24.7-66.1%) than women (7-48.1%).A modifiable risk factor reported in the majority of the studies was increased adiposity.


Lifestyle changes to reduce weight may be effective in preventing or at least delaying the progression to hypertension and its associated cardiovascular events. Large, prospective, epidemiological studies are needed to estimate the risk of incident hypertension and cardiovascular events in pre-hypertension patients. Randomized clinical trials are also needed to evaluate the effectiveness of lifestyle modification and/or pharmacotherapy in reducing the risk of incident hypertension.

Keywords: Prehypertension, Saudi population, Hypertension, Cardiovascular events, Prevalence, Cardiovascular risk.