Thirty Million Americans Just Got High Blood Pressure

Garlic high blood pressure

Roughly half of the United States' population will meet the criteria for hypertension as the American Heart Association released new guidelines for diagnosing and treating high blood pressure Monday (Nov. 11).

The change means nearly half of the nation's adults, or 103 million people, are technically classified as having hypertension, up from one-third. Just take some common sense steps to avoid future cardiovascular complications.

Dr. Shearer says high blood pressure is known as the "silent killer" because there are often no symptoms.

"Blood pressure is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease and we should know our blood pressure".

The government agency did not help write or officially endorse the guidelines - a change from previous versions - but it did back key research, including the 2015 study showing the value of lower blood pressure targets.

Here's why blood pressure matters so much: as we age, it tends to rise and slowly damage blood vessels, increasing risks for heart attack, stroke, kidney damage and other health problems.

While many patients need multiple drugs to get their blood pressure into a healthy range, most treatments are available as less-expensive generic pills.

The new guidelines were developed by the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology and nine other health professional organizations. Hypertension is second only to smoking as a leading cause of heart disease deaths. People with those readings now will be categorized as having either Elevated (120-129 and less than 80) or Stage I hypertension (130-139 or 80-89).

Almost half of American adults are at risk for major health problems because of high blood pressure, according to a new scientific guideline that redefines the risky condition and provides tactics for doctors to detect, treat and prevent it.

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Hypertension occurs when the force of blood pushing against vessel walls is too high. "It doesn't mean you need medication, but it's a yellow light that you need to be lowering your blood pressure, mainly with non-drug approaches".

"It's normal to have a systolic blood pressure of 120 and a diastolic below 80, and that's what we should all be aiming to have", Whelton said.

High blood pressure is expected to triple among men under age 45 and double among women under 45, according to the American Heart Association.

Robert M. Carey, M.D., vice chair of the guideline writing committee, said he expects some controversy over how the report treats older adults.

"This a major leap forward in bringing to our attention to the importance of the intensive treatment of elevated blood pressures, which is one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, risk factor for heart attack and stroke", Ferdinand said.

The best way to deal with it is by exercising more, eating a diet low in sodium while restricting alcohol and lowering stress.

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". A person's level should be the average of several readings, including those done outside of the doctor's office.

To manage your blood pressure, Whelton suggests working with your doctor to address the cause of it.

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