New high blood pressure guidelines

Garlic high blood pressure

The American Heart Association released a major update regarding new blood pressure guidelines and under the changes, more Americans are considered to have high 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.

Doctors now recognise that complications "can occur at those lower numbers", said the first update to comprehensive United States guidelines on blood pressure detection and treatment since 2003.

High blood pressure is the No. 2 cause of preventable heart disease and stroke behind smoking, Gandhi said.

In terms of lives, the change translates to a 14% increases in the number of adults classified with high blood pressure.

Millions more Americans will be classified as having high blood pressure, but this doesn't necessarily mean more people will be put on medication.

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But patients in the 120 systolic blood pressure group had a higher rate of kidney injury or failure, as well as fainting. Before, both these ranges were classified as "prehypertension", and 140-159/90-99 was "stage 1 hypertension".

Damage to blood vessels is already beginning once blood pressure reaches 130/80, said the guidelines, which were based in part on a major U.S. government-funded study of over 9,000 people nationwide.

A spokesperson from AHA told FOX Business that they do not have any projections regarding the "cost" to Americans for this change but did add that the "vast majority of those who are now considered to have elevated pressure will be prescribed lifestyle changes", like improved diet with less sodium and more exercise.

WECT's Ben Smart is interviewing two cardiologists today to understand what these new heart health guidelines mean for you.

"A lot more people are going to be diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure), but the result will be fewer cardiovascular events down the road", Gandhi said. The association recommends that those with stage 1 hypertension will only be prescribed medication if they have a heart attack or stroke.

Hypertensive crisis is systolic over 180 and/or diastolic over 120, with patients needing prompt changes in medication if there are no other indications of problems, or immediate hospitalization if there are signs of organ damage.

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