Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

New Guidelines Mean Millions More Americans Need to Lower Blood Pressure

New Guidelines Mean Millions More Americans Need to Lower 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.

During a visit to the doctor's office, a series of tests examine our health, but starting Monday your doctor could be telling you something new.

Lowering the threshold for high blood pressure means more people will be diagnosed and treated, but the result should be fewer people having heart disease and strokes down the road, concluded a Bloomington-Normal cardiologist.

It's safe to say most people would be overwhelmed with the new guidelines - 167 pages, citing 367 scientific publications, titled "2017 ACC/AHA/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/AGS/APhA/ASH/ASPC/NMA/PCNA Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults".

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High blood pressure can mean serious problems with your heart.

"I'm looking at this as more of the start of a formal conversation", Dr. Aznaurov says.

Dr. Fabregas says that even if your first blood pressure reading comes back high, you might not be at risk for hypertension.

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.

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The guidelines recommend lifestyle changes, eating a healthy, low-sodium diet, rich in potassium - bananas, potatoes, avocados, leafy green vegetables - weight loss, exercise, and cutting out alcohol and tobacco.

He said those strategies would include lifestyle changes with or without blood pressure medication.

"We want to be straight with people - if you already have a doubling of risk, you need to know about it".

The new guidelines eliminate the prehypertension category. Many people are unaware that they have the condition because there are no symptoms. In a 2015 study from the National Institutes of Health, more than 93,000 men and women 50 years and older who were at high risk of cardiac arrest were divided into two groups.

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More guidance for how people should manage their blood pressure, focusing on lifestyle improvements.

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