New rules say 46 percent of Americans have hypertension

Share

Under the new guidelines, the AHA now defines high blood pressure as 130/80, down from the previous 140/90.

It's safe to say most people would be overwhelmed with the new guidelines - 167 pages, citing 367 scientific publications, titled "2017 ACC/AHA/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/AGS/APhA/ASH/ASPC/NMA/PCNA Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults".

"It doesn't mean you need medication, but it's a yellow light that you need to be lowering your blood pressure, mainly with non-drug approaches".

Tighter blood pressure guidelines from US heart organizations mean millions more people need to make lifestyle changes, or start taking medication, in order to avoid cardiovascular problems.

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

"We want to be straight with people - if you already have a doubling of risk, you need to know about it". Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80. Normal blood pressure is still considered under 120 mmHG for the systolic (top) number and 90 mmHG for the diastolic (bottom) number. "So the earlier, the better", said Dr. Shearer.

More news: Brookfield discusses possibilities to purchase GGP for United States dollars 14 billion

"The prevalence of high blood pressure is expected to triple among men under age 45, and double among women under 45", according to the report.

High blood pressure has even associated dementia.

"A lot more people are going to be diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure), but the result will be fewer cardiovascular events down the road", Gandhi said.

The new guidelines eliminate the prehypertension category. The association recommends that those with stage 1 hypertension will only be prescribed medication if they have a heart attack or stroke. Then a person's reading becomes the average of those numbers and reduces the risk of "white coat hypertension" - blood pressure readings that are improperly elevated because a patient in a doctor's office is nervous.

Experts said the majority of Americans affected won't need medication but will need to make lifestyle changes.

Share