Half of U.S. adults have high blood pressure in new rules

15 November, 2017, 01:05 | Author: Darrell Lopez
  • High blood pressure patient

Under the new guidelines, 14% of more people will be diagnosed with high blood pressure, making almost half of American adults at risk for major health problems.

High blood pressure was redefined Monday by the American Heart Association, which said the disease should be treated sooner, when it reaches 130/80, not the previous limit of 140/90. Normal blood pressure is still considered under 120 mmHG for the systolic (top) number and 90 mmHG for the diastolic (bottom) number.

The global hypertension drug market is already expected to climb to $32 billion by the end of 2020, according to analysts at Technavio, but now with the new guidelines for blood pressure set in place by the American Heart Association earlier this week, that market could rise even more as additional Americans may need medication.

The changes were announced at the American Heart Association's 2017 Scientific Sessions conference in Anaheim, California. High blood pressure sometimes is called the silent killer because it contributes to cardiovascular disease with no symptoms.

The AHA says the new guidelines are created to help people address the potentially deadly condition much earlier.




Healthy lifestyle changes include losing weight, exercising more, eating healthier, not smoking, avoiding alcohol and salt, and reducing stress.

The blood pressure categories have changed under the new guidelines. "Saying, 'Hey maybe you should get a blood pressure cuff at home and start monitoring that blood pressure and bring in those numbers for us to review together at your next visit'".

Dr. Shearer says people are usually diagnosed with high blood pressure in their 50's and 60's when arteries get stiffer but he says people as young as teens should get their blood pressure checked. But only a small percentage of those patients will be prescribed anti-hypertensive medication, the association said.

High blood pressure is caused when the force of blood pushing against vessel walls is too high.

Gandhi recommends that people who are at risk of high blood pressure buy a quality blood pressure cuff that wraps around their arms and to become comfortable taking their own blood pressure readings from time to time and reporting them to their doctor.

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