Blood pressure guidelines tougher, more people to be diagnosed

15 November, 2017, 00:24 | Author: Garry Little
  • High blood pressure patient

The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology just lowered the threshold for high blood pressure to 130/80 millimeters of mercury, and now 46% of Americans - up from 32% - fall in the danger zone.

At the new cutoff, around 46 percent, or more than 103 million, of American adults are considered to have high blood pressure, compared with an estimated 72 million under the previous guidelines in place since 2003.

Doctors now recognise that complications "can occur at those lower numbers", said the first update to comprehensive USA guidelines on blood pressure detection and treatment since 2003.

The higher a person's blood pressure, the higher their risk is of developing heart disease, which means they're more likely to suffer poor health and die early, according to the guideline authors.

The guidelines do not change the definition of normal blood pressure as 120/80 or lower.

Healthy lifestyle changes include losing weight, exercising more, eating healthier, not smoking, avoiding alcohol and salt, and reducing stress.

The next time you go to your doctor's office, you may be diagnosed with high blood pressure.

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Almost half of the U.S adult population is now considered to have high blood pressure.

The category of prehypertension, referring to those with systolic pressure of 120-139, no longer exists.

High blood pressure is caused when the force of blood pushing against vessel walls is too high.

Medication is recommended for people with stage 1 hypertension only "if a patient has already had a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack or stroke, or is at high risk of heart attack or stroke based on age, the presence of diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease or calculation of atherosclerotic risk".

"By being more aggressive when people are younger, we hope to prevent bad outcomes later", Dr. Siddharth Gandhi of Advocate Heart Institute at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal said Monday.

Hypertensive crisis is systolic over 180 and/or diastolic over 120, with patients needing prompt changes in medication if there are no other indications of problems, or immediate hospitalization if there are signs of organ damage.



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