Published: Fri, November 17, 2017
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

The Classification of 'High Blood Pressure' Just Changed

The Classification of 'High Blood Pressure' Just Changed

High blood pressure was redefined Monday by the American Heart Association, which said the disease should be treated sooner, when it reaches 130/80 mm Hg, not the previous limit of 140/90.

Systolic pressure is the pressure that freshly pumped blood exerts against the muscle walls of the artery during a heartbeat.

These new guidelines lower the requirements for hypertension diagnosis, from 140/90 mmHg to 130/80 mmHg.

Under the new guidelines, high blood pressure is now defined as readings of 130 over 80.

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Q: Why were the guidelines changed? Therefore, the best approach is to prevent them from ever happening by keeping blood pressure in a safer, lower range.

Many pharmacies and stores allow you to check your blood pressure with a free machine. If the upper blood pressure readings vary by 30-40 between doctor visits, the researchers say, that's a big red flag.

For years, we have told people that 120/80 is a flawless blood pressure, and all of a sudden 120/80 is too high.

Q: Will this mean more and especially younger people will require medication for hypertension?

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The new guidelines also emphasize the importance of accurate blood pressure measurements, using an average of different readings at different times. However, people who are prescribed medications for high blood pressure should continue to take them, even when their blood pressures are back to being in a healthy range.

Here are a few things that can help lower your blood without taking medication, courtesy of the Mayo Clinic. "In 2003, the JNC 7 or the seventh report of the Joint National Committee's report on prevention, detection, evaluation and treatment of high blood pressure had shown that starting from 110/75, every addition of blood pressure by 20 mm systolic and 10 mm diastolic would double the risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure", said Chandorkar. Some people may also need to lose weight with a combination of diet and exercise.

"Is it going to be hard to meet those blood pressure goals?" The scariest part is that high blood pressure doesn't have any obvious symptoms that you'd notice in your day-to-day life. Taking steps to keep your blood pressure at a safe, lower level can help to prevent developing more unsafe heart conditions in the long run.

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