If you’ve never received a diagnosis of high blood pressure, that may be changing based on new guidelines from the American Heart Association.
The AHA released a report on Monday about high blood pressure and what stands out the most is the change in the definition of hypertension.
“Now what it means for the change in the definition of hypertension includes 140 over 90 beats per minute is now being redefined as 130 over 80 beats per minute. Which means 32% of Americans living with high blood pressure has now become 46%”, reports Tyler Young.
This 14% increase equates to roughly 40,000,000 more Americans who might have high blood pressure than before Monday, according to the AHA’s report.
“Certainly high blood pressure puts you at higher risk of having potentially a heart attack or stroke, so if it’s been untreated, that’s who we’re looking at. These new guidelines particularly are looking at the higher risk such as diabetics, high cholesterol, people who have had strokes in the past”, says Dr. Josh Campbell, a Family Practitioner for Family Physicians of Western Colorado.
“Now if you’re unable to make it to the doctor but are still looking to get your blood pressure checked, you may always use a blood pressure machine at one of your local grocery stores”, reports Tyler Young.
We asked the questions, “Because of this definition change, should viewers at home be alarmed? What does this change tell us as a whole?”
“I think the most important thing is just recognizing that it’s out there. I think we as providers, physicians, doctors, nurse practitioners, whoever is providing that type of care that we’re not jumping towards putting people on medication”, says Dr. Campbell.
As always with human health, there are steps we can take to prevent an incident involving high blood pressure.
“When people see these kinds of guidelines, you get scared and think, ‘Well, if I go see my doctor are they going to push a pill up me’, and I think it’s more starting the conversation about ‘What can I do? Do I need to make changes in my diet? Do I need to work on exercise? Do I need to work on weight loss?’ Those types of things”, says Dr. Campbell.