New AHA/ACC guidelines redefine high blood pressure as 130/80 mm Hg

New AHA/ACC guidelines redefine high blood pressure as 130/80 mm Hg

For the first time in more than a decade the American Heart Association is changing the guidelines for blood pressure.

Anyone with blood pressure higher than 130/80 will now be considered to have hypertension, or high blood pressure, the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology said in releasing their new joint guidelines. A person's level should be the average of several readings, including those done outside of the doctor's office.

That's because everyone with stage 1 high blood pressure will be evaluated for heart disease.

The U.S. government in 2013 asked the AHA and ACC to draft new guidelines for blood pressure management, said ACC President Dr. Mary Walsh. Under the previous guideline, 32 percent of US adults had high blood pressure.

Data from SPRINT, which was also used in the new meta-analyses that were done for the guidelines, supports the lower blood pressure goal of 130/80 mm Hg for adults, including adults aged 65 years and older in institutionalized ambulatory, community-living settings, according to MacLaughlin.

The rest of those at risk under the new guidelines will be urged to reduce their blood pressure through lifestyle changes - losing weight, eating healthful foods, cutting down on salt, increasing potassium-rich foods, exercising regularly and moderating their drinking, said Dr.

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High blood pressure accounts for the second largest number of preventable heart disease and stroke deaths, second only to smoking. While some people may be concerned to learn they now have high blood pressure, Gianos says that the new guidelines are a sign that experts are learning and improving their advice to people in order to further lower their risk of dying from heart-related causes. They found that the lower the blood pressure, the better the health outcomes. "Masked hypertension is more sinister and very important to recognize because these people seem to have a similar risk as those with sustained high blood pressure". The guidelines point out that patients with Stage 1 high blood pressure (130-139/80-89 mm Hg) who also have other issues that increase their risk for heart attack and stroke, such as diabetes, should start medication while also working on lifestyle changes.

The change is expected to triple the number of men under age 45 diagnosed with hypertension and double the number among women the same age. She is medical director of Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplantation at St. Vincent Heart Center of Indiana.

A blood pressure reading is generally given as a ratio, with normal being 120 millimeters over 80 millimeters of mercury, or mmHg. Bob Carey, vice-chair of the guidelines committee and professor of medicine at the University of Virginia Health System School of Medicine.

"They are based on strong evidence", Whelton said. Eleven organizations collaborated on the project and reviewed more than 900 published studies.

And Stage 2 occurs at levels of 140 over 90.

Often called the “silent killer” because there are often no obvious symptoms, hypertension accounts for more heart disease and stroke deaths than nearly all other preventable causes. Ferdinand is a professor of Clinical Medicine at the Tulane University Heart and Vascular Institute and said rates of hypertension are even higher in the South than in other parts of the country.

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