New blood pressure guidelines released

New blood pressure guidelines released

New blood pressure guidelines released

Americans with blood pressure of 130/80 or higher should be treated, down from the previous trigger of 140/90, according to new guidelines announced on Monday at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Anaheim, California.

The new guidelines reflect years of research, which have shown that people within the new range of blood pressure defined as hypertension have doubled their risk of cardiovascular problems in the future, such as heart attacks or strokes.

Despite an increase in the amount of Americans with high blood pressure, the AHA hopes their new guidelines mean there will be only a small increase in the amount of patients requiring medication.

A doctor speaks to a patient as a sphygmomanometer, or blood pressure meter, lies on his desk.

"SPRINT demonstrated significant benefit with the lower blood pressure goals", said MacLaughlin, who is also a professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy.

The updated guidelines were presented at the AHA's Scientific Sessions in Anaheim, California, on November 13 and published by the AHA and the American College of Cardiology. The guidelines were last revised in 2003.

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The change means 46 percent of US adults are identified as having high blood pressure, compared with 32 percent under the previous definition.

The guidelines have changed opening the door for more people to be diagnosed with the condition.

That means now almost half of U.S. adults have stage 1 hypertension and need to make urgent lifestyle changes to bring that number down.

"We know that high blood pressure is one of the major causes of heart attack and strokes", said Dr. David Shearer, Family Medicine Physician, SSM Health. Blood pressure levels should be based on an average of two to three readings on at least two different occasions, the authors said. "This now allows 14 percent of our population to understand that's a call to action". The prevalence of high blood pressure is expected to triple among men under age 45, and double among women under 45 according to the report.

For the past 14 years, high blood pressure has been defined as 140/90, and approximately one in every three people in the USA are now diagnosed under this measurement.

"We're more specific about who should get treatment", Whelton said.

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A blood pressure tracker at the AHAs Check. "We didn't have that in previous guidelines".

The guidelines, also endorsed by the American College of Cardiology and 11 other organizations, do not change the definition of normal blood pressure as 120/80 or lower.

Currently, 40 percent of West Virginians have hypertension.

Under the new threshold for initiating treatment, patients assessed to be at higher risk of cardiovascular problems will also be started on medication, he said. "This amounts to 4.2 million people, based on the USA population".

Dr. Whelton said the new measurements recommend earlier intervention to prevent further increases in blood pressure.

Additionally, Ferdinand said he hopes people will "be less comfortable with blood pressures that put them at risk, and will now seek attention and treatment when they might not have before".

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The new goal strikes "an appropriate balance between efficacy... and safety", for those who will be asked to take more medications that can have side effects such as dizziness and falling, said Bob Carey, vice-chair of the guideline committee and a professor of medicine and dean emeritus at the University of Virginia Health System School of Medicine.

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