New High Blood Pressure Guidelines
On Monday, November 13, the American Heart Association (AHA) released new hypertension guidelines which increased the number of people with high blood pressure by several million. The latest guidelines dictate that high blood pressure should be treated at 130/80 rather than 140/90.
The new set of guidelines was created by scientists at the AHA, American College of Cardiology and nine other health professional organizations.
Researchers explain that general public will find these recent recommendations shocking primarily because 130/80 has been considered as a normal blood pressure for quite some time.
Basically, 50% of men in the United States and 38% of adult women have high blood pressure, according to these guidelines, published in the latest issue of Hypertension. Based on a prior set of recommendations, one in three Americans had hypertension, but the latest rules involve a larger group of people and increase* the total number of individuals with high blood pressure by 14%.
More precisely, as of November 13, about 103.3 million people in the United States have high blood pressure, which is a significant rise compared to 72.2 million Americans whose blood pressure was defined according to previous guidelines.
What Is Normal Blood Pressure Now?
After the American Heart Association announced that blood pressure range which was considered normal is now defined is high, it’s natural to wonder about healthy blood pressure now. Based on new guidelines, your blood pressure is considered health if it’s less than 120/80.
When the first number (systolic pressure) is between 130 and 139 and the second number (diastolic pressure) falls between 80 and 89, a person is considered to have stage 1 hypertension. A more severe form of high blood pressure, stage 2 hypertension, occurs when systolic pressure is 140 or higher and diastolic at least 90.
It is also important to mention that the latest guidelines eliminate* prehypertension category. A systolic pressure between 120 and 139 and diastolic pressure between 80 and 89 was considered normal before, but close to high pressure. The new set of recommendations eliminates* this category and defines everything above 130/80 as hypertension.
Doctors and researchers who created the new high blood pressure definition say these guidelines will benefit younger population the most. Today, an increasing* number of people is overweight or obese and they face multiple health concerns including diabetes, hypertension, higher cardiovascular disease risk, cancer and many others. Hypertension is a common occurrence among overweight individuals and it paves the way to more complications. These new rules are meant to inspire people to adopt healthy lifestyle habits in order to keep their blood pressure within a healthy range and avoid more severe consequences.
It is also important to mention that about 30% of people with stage 1 hypertension won’t have to take medications, but lifestyle modification will be recommended in their case. Medications will be recommended to individuals whose blood pressure is 140/90, similar to the current situation.
According to the latest hypertension guidelines, about 103 million Americans have high blood pressure compared to 72 million during prior blood pressure recommendations. Although researchers classify 130/80, what used to be normal blood pressure, as hypertension about 30% of people won’t need drugs to manage this problem, lifestyle adjustments are crucial.
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