Health Care

Heart Association lowers definition of high blood pressure

Heart Association lowers definition of high blood pressure”

"The new definition results in only a small increase in the percentage of US adults for whom antihypertensive medication is recommended in conjunction with lifestyle modification", according to the guidelines.

Eleven medical groups including the American Heart Association are redefining the danger zone: the bar for systolic blood pressure is lowered from 140 points to 130.

The normal limit for blood pressure is considered 120 for systolic, or how much pressure the blood places on the artery walls when the heart beats, and 80 for diastolic, which is measured between beats.

Dr. Aznaurov said the only way people in this range would have to start medication is if they have another underlying cardiac disease.

The guidelines were presented at the heart association's annual Scientific Sessions in Anaheim, Calif.

High blood pressure accounts for the second largest number of preventable heart disease and stroke deaths, second only to smoking.

The American Heart Association says falling into this category won't always call for medication, but it's rather a yellow light to lowering blood pressure.

Almost half of all Americans have high blood pressure according to new guidelines, with cardiologists saying Tuesday it offers an opportunity to promote better health.

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"You've already doubled your risk of cardiovascular complications compared to those with a normal level of blood pressure", said Paul K. Whelton, lead author of the guidelines.

High blood pressure is sometimes called a silent killer because there are no symptoms.

"The prevalence of hypertension among US adults is substantially higher when the definition in the present guideline is used versus the [older] definition (46% versus 32%)", the authors write.

Doctors say make lifestyle changes.

High blood pressure can mean serious problems with your heart.

"Elevated blood pressure is not our friend".

Gandhi recommends that people who are at risk of high blood pressure buy a quality blood pressure cuff that wraps around their arms and to become comfortable taking their own blood pressure readings from time to time and reporting them to their doctor.



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