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Last week the American Heart Association released new guidelines to define high blood pressure. Under the new guideline, 46% of adults in the US are now considered to have high blood pressure. That accounts for over 103 million people. This change will result in earlier detection and help to save lives.
How is High Blood Pressure Defined?
High Blood Pressure, also referred to as Hypertension, is known as a “silent killer”. There are no symptoms, yet having high blood pressure increases your risk for both heart disease and stroke. High blood pressure occurs when the pressure of the blood pushing against the wall of your arteries is stronger than it should be. This constant force puts stress on your heart, as well as damages your arteries.
According to the latest guideline, a normal blood pressure is less than 120/80. Elevated blood pressure is 120-129/80. High blood pressure is greater than 130/80. The previous guideline considered 140/90 to be high and 130/80 to be pre-hypertensive.
High Blood Pressure is 130/80 according to new American Heart Association Guideline.
Why the Change?
The new guideline labels approximately 4.2 million more people as having hypertension, but experts responsible for the guideline changes stress the important of early detection. Only a small percentage of the newly labeled people with hypertension will be prescribed medication, but rather doctors will focus on treatment through lifestyle changes. The goal is for patients to make early changes to prevent strokes, heart disease, and kidney failure.
Experts have spent 3 years reviewing research and data to create the new guideline. The previous recommendations have been in place for over 14 years.
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