What You Need to Know About the New High Blood Pressure Guidelines

(HEADLINE HEALTH) As we reported yesterday, the American Heart Assoc. has just redefined high blood pressure.

The stakes just went up on having your blood pressure taken, as you are now significantly more likely to be told you need to take high blood pressure medication, possibly for the rest of your life. 

This change is important to understand before your next medical visit, as millions of people who were previously told that their blood pressure was normal will now be told it’s too high.

Too many doctors are in the habit of writing a prescription for every possible malady, and too many patients have been patterned to automatically follow ‘doctor’s orders.’

This  simple ten-point adjustment in blood pressure guidelines is projected to result in 4.2 million more Americans going on blood pressure medications.

Acquaint yourself with the new guidelines below.



High blood pressure is redefined as 130, not 140: US guidelines

(AFP) High blood pressure was redefined Monday by the American Heart Association, which said the disease should be treated sooner, when it reaches 130/80, not the previous limit of 140/90.

“High blood pressure is now defined as readings of 130 mm Hg and higher for the systolic blood pressure measurement, or readings of 80 and higher for the diastolic measurement,” said the guidelines.

Doctors now recognize that complications “can occur at those lower numbers,” said the first update to comprehensive US guidelines on blood pressure detection and treatment since 2003.

The new standard means that nearly half (46 percent) of the US population will be defined as having high blood pressure.

Previously, one in three (32 percent) had the condition, which is the second leading cause of heart disease and stroke, after cigarette smoking.

The normal limit for blood pressure is considered 120/80.

Once a person reaches 130/80, “you’ve already doubled your risk of cardiovascular complications compared to those with a normal level of blood pressure,” said Paul Whelton, lead author of the guidelines published in the American Heart Association journal, Hypertension and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

“We want to be straight with people –- if you already have a doubling of risk, you need to know about it.”

He said a diagnosis of the new high blood pressure does not necessarily mean a person needs to take medication, but that “it’s a yellow light that you need to be lowering your blood pressure, mainly with non-drug approaches.”

The changes were announced at the American Heart Association’s 2017 Scientific Sessions conference. Displayed with permission from AFP via Repubhub. Also of interest: Forget Risky Rx; We Found 3 Safe Remedies That Are Proven Stress-Busters