New blood pressure guidelines released

High blood pressure patient

High blood pressure patient

In the first change to blood pressure guidelines in 14 years, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology say that the threshold for high blood pressure should be lower.

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.

Additionally, Ferdinand said he hopes people will "be less comfortable with blood pressures that put them at risk, and will now seek attention and treatment when they might not have before".

This comes after the American Heart Association redefined guidelines for the first time in almost a decade.

"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", Whelton said in a press release. He is chair of the 2017 Hypertension Practice Guidelines and a professor of Global Public Health at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans.

The nation's heart experts tightened the guidelines for high blood pressure Monday, a change that will sharply increase the number of US adults considered hypertensive in the hope that they and their doctors will address the deadly condition sooner.

However, with research showing complications occurring in readings of 130/80, the American Heart Association officially redefined the criteria for high blood pressure - a reading of 120/80.

Previously, those people were considered to have prehypertension, but not actual high blood pressure.

Get the latest health and science news, plus: burning questions and expert tips. Now, everyone that old should be treated if the top number is over 130 unless they're too frail or have conditions that make it unwise. The prevalence of high blood pressure will likely triple among men younger than 45, and double among women younger than 45.

"We want to be straight with people - if you already have a doubling of risk, you need to know about it", Whelton said. Only those with heart disease or at high risk for developing it during the next decade will be prescribed drugs, the guidelines state.

"Lifestyle modification is the cornerstone of treatment for hypertension", Carey said. "It's a nice combination of understanding accurately average blood pressure and also understanding underlying risk". Unlike previous guideline panels, none on this one have recent financial ties to industry, although some on a panel that reviewed and commented on them do. People with those readings now will be categorized as having either Elevated (120-129 and less than 80) or Stage I hypertension (130-139 or 80-89). "This amounts to 4.2 million people, based on the US population".

The new guidelines stress the importance of using proper technique to measure blood pressure. "Masked hypertension is more sinister and very important to recognize because these people seem to have a similar risk as those with sustained high blood pressure".

The U.S. government in 2013 asked the AHA and ACC to draft new guidelines for blood pressure management, said ACC President Dr. Mary Walsh.

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