New guidelines for blood pressure were released Monday. This will put millions of people across the world into the High Blood Pressure range!
According to the new guidelines, anyone having blood pressure higher than 130/80 will be considered to have hypertension. Any blood pressure over 120/80 will be considered as elevated. Stage 1 hypertension will be in the range 130/80 to 139/89. Stage 2 hypertension will be above 140/90. People having blood pressure over 180/120 will be considered to be in hypertensive crisis with immediate need for treatment.
Previously, any top reading above 140 was not considered as high blood pressure. “It’s very clear that lower is better,” said Dr. Paul Whelton of Tulane University, who chaired the committee that wrote the guidelines. “Normal hasn’t changed. We are still saying that it is great and it is normal to have a systolic blood pressure reading below 120 and a diastolic reading under 80,” Whelton said.
The new guidelines will put 46% of US population in the high blood pressure or hypertension zone.
The American Heart Association recommend that people with stage 1 hypertension try lifestyle changes first: exercising more, eating less salt, and eating more fruit, vegetables and whole grains. “Lifestyle modification is the cornerstone for treatment of hypertension,” said Dr. Robert Carey of the University of Virginia, who helped write the guidelines.
Many people will be confused by the guidelines. But research says that fewer people die if blood pressure is controlled at an earlier stage. Not everyone who will be diagnosed with high blood pressure under the new guidelines will be advised to take drugs.
“We will have a big jump in prevalence but you’ll notice only a small increase in the number of people we believe will benefit from hypertensive drugs,” Carey said.
High blood pressure is one of the leading killers around the world. It damages blood vessels and can lead to organ damage such as kidney and heart failure, as well as heart attacks and stroke
Many drugs are used to treat high blood pressure. They include diuretics, beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors, which attack blood pressure from different directions. The groups agreed that even elderly and frail patients benefit from having high blood pressure treated.
Don’t wait! Get your blood pressure and seek help immediately if you fall under hypertension category according to the new guidelines.