After 14 years, new diagnostic guidelines for high blood pressure have been set by the American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Cardiology (ACC). High blood pressure, or hypertension, has been defined as ≥140/90 mm Hg since 2003. The new proposed guidelines change those numbers to ≥130/80 mm Hg.
The AHA states that the new guidelines are “designed to help people take steps to control their blood pressure earlier” and that “high blood pressure…is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke—the two leading causes of death in the world.”
Under previous guidelines, one in three American adults (32%) was diagnosed with high blood pressure. The new guidelines mean that nearly half of U.S. adults (46%) could be classified as having high blood pressure.
“To improve blood pressure control and reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in these patients, a small percentage of them will be asked to take medications while the majority will be recommended for nonpharmacological interventions with healthy lifestyle changes,” adds the AHA.
Click here for more information on the new High Blood Pressure Guidelines.