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If your blood pressure has been borderline in the past, you may want to have it rechecked. Experts have recently released new guidelines as to what qualifies as high blood pressure. According to the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, anyone with blood pressure higher than 130/80 will now be considered to have hypertension, or high blood pressure. In the past, people were not considered to have high blood pressure until they the top reading was at 140.
The new guidelines will have an impact on the number of individuals who have high blood pressure. According to the American Heart Association nearly 32% of the U.S. population had high blood pressure under the old guidelines. However, under the new guidelines that number will rise to nearly 46 percent.
According to Coordinated Health Cardiologist Stephen Ksiazek, M.D., the new blood pressure guidelines will be especially meaningful to some. “A certain subset of patients including those with a prior history of cardiac disease or stroke, individuals with diabetes, individuals with chronic kidney disease and those with an exceptionally high risk of developing cardiac problems in the future will be impacted. The new guidelines may therefore represent an opportunity for these folks to perhaps do some ‘fine tuning’ in terms of their medical regimen with their physician,” says Ksiazek.
Dr. Ksiazek says that for everyone else, the new guidelines also emphasize the role of lifestyle measures like weight management, not smoking, moderation in alcohol use, getting enough healthy sleep and activity as the first line of intervention.