New Blood Pressure Guidelines

November 14, 2017 07:08 PM

(ABC 6 News) – Almost half of Americans are now considered to have hypertension under the new blood pressure guidelines.

That's 46 percent compared to the previous 36 percent of people.


According to the American Heart Association, the new guidelines will help save lives and money.

Linda Bell is for the new guidelines and she says she’s not surprised they are being updated, "the way we eat, of course not.”

It used to be a blood pressure of 140 over 90 was considered on the high end of normal.

But the new guidelines lowered the range of what is considered normal. 

Dr. Sandra Taler, with Mayo Clinic, helped write the new guidelines, "the main difference is that high blood pressure, stage 1 hypertension, starts at 130. So, 130 to 139 systolic, 80 to 89 diastolic would be stage 1 hypertension."

Dr. Taler also says people with stage 1 hypertension may need blood pressure medication.

For some, the changes make sense but raise concerns.

"These are people who may not necessarily have any problems with it but they forever carry this label with them. They're on medications, they have this anxiety and that's a problem as well," said Jas Sara. 

But others believe the changes could lead to early treatment and prevent future issues.

"If they know that they consider 130 as being hypertensive, it might motivate people to, to control their blood pressure more and to keep an eye on it," said Randolph Lao.

Which would mean keeping an eye on foods and lack of exercise that can lead to things like heart disease or a stroke?

However, some still wonder if it’s the best approach to a solution. 

"I think we have to be careful before we make decisions to start labeling a whole new population with a disease but like I said there are good things as well that can come from this," said Sara. 




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