American Heart Association announces new blood pressure guidelines

NOW: American Heart Association announces new blood pressure guidelines

Nearly half of the U.S. adult population is now suffering from high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. Blood pressure is now considered high at 130/80 mm, modifying the old definition of high blood pressure as being 140/90 and higher.

These new guidelines are the first change to the definition of high blood pressure since 2003. They were announced today at the American Heart Association’s 2017 Scientific Sessions conference in Anaheim, California.

High blood pressure accounts for the second largest number of preventable heart disease and stroke deaths, second only to smoking. The Association is hoping that these new guidelines will help people address the potentially deadly condition much earlier.

Dr. Paul K. Whelton is the lead author of the new guidelines.

“You’ve already doubled your risk of cardiovascular complications compared to those with a normal level of blood pressure,” Whelton said. “We want to be straight with people; if you already have a doubling of risk, you need to know about it. 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.”

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.

You can find high blood pressure management resources here.

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