Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Medicine | By Melba Vasquez

Blood pressure change adds to hypertensive list

Blood pressure change adds to hypertensive list

Almost half of adults in ME likely have high blood pressure under new guidelines announced Monday.

Almost half of the U.S adult population is now considered to have high blood pressure. The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology are now defining a top reading of 130 or more, or a bottom reading of 80 or more, as high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is second only to smoking when it comes to preventable heart disease and stroke deaths.

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The normal limit for blood pressure is considered 120 for systolic, or how much pressure the blood places on the artery walls when the heart beats, and 80 for diastolic, which is measured between beats.

The next time you go to your doctor's office, you may be diagnosed with high blood pressure.

Damage to blood vessels is already beginning once blood pressure reaches 130/80, said the guidelines, which were based in part on a major United States government-funded study of over 9,000 people nationwide. Under the previous guideline, 32 percent of USA adults had high blood pressure.

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"If you take it right as the patient walks in, it's usually higher, because he has sort of a fight or flight response so he has 10 points more but then they relax and the pressure is normal", Dr. Fabregas said. "It's not a good thing for the body", Dr. Suzie Mookherjee said. Doctors say make lifestyle changes. These include maintaining a healthy weight, following the DASH diet, lowering sodium intake, increasing potassium intake, lowering alcohol consumption, and increasing physical activity.

The authors of the report also want people already in treatment to try to reach the new blood pressure goal.

The category of prehypertension, referring to those with systolic pressure of 120-139, no longer exists. Blood pressure is affected by a wide variety of factors including genetics, age, diet, exercise, stress and other diseases such as diabetes.

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More guidance for how people should manage their blood pressure, focusing on lifestyle improvements. In a 2015 study from the National Institutes of Health, more than 93,000 men and women 50 years and older who were at high risk of cardiac arrest were divided into two groups.

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