New Blood Pressure Guidelines
The definition of what is known as high blood pressure has been narrowed. This is what you have to know.
In case, you didn’t have high blood pressure before, there’s a tendency you do now.
A year ago, new guidelines from the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and nine other health Associations reduced the numbers for the diagnosis of high blood pressure to 130/80 mm Hg and higher for adults.
The past guidelines set the limit at 140/90 mm Hg for individuals under age 65 and 150/80 mm Hg for those ages 65 and more.
This implies 70% to 79% of men ages 55 and above are categorized as having hypertension.
That includes the majority of men whose blood pressure had been considered healthy before. Why the change?
Reason for the numbers
Blood pressure guidelines are not updated from time to time.
Rather, they are changed when there is sufficient new evidence that suggests the old ones were not accurate or relevant anymore.
The aim now with the new blood pressure guidelines is to assist people in addressing high blood pressure and the difficulties that may accompany it, such as heart attack and stroke as earlier as possible.
The new blood pressure guidelines emanate from the 2017 results of the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT).
Which studied more than 9,000 adults ages 50 and older who had a systolic blood pressure of 130 mm Hg or more and at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
The research’s goal was to find out whether treating blood pressure to lower the systolic number to 120 mm Hg or less was in high rank to the standard target of 140 mm Hg or less.
The outcome was that targeting a systolic pressure of not more than 120 mm Hg minimize the chance of heart attacks, heart failure, or stroke over a 3 years period.
It exceeds the blood pressure issue
The new guidelines also have additional changes. One, they don’t provide different suggestions to people, be it younger or older than age 65.
According to Dr. Conlin, “The SPRINT study looked at all patients irrespective of age, and didn’t break down groups above or below a certain age”.
The guidelines also modified the different categories of hypertension.
It excludes the category of prehypertension, which had been said to be a systolic blood pressure of 120 to 139 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure of 80 to 89 mm Hg.
Alternatively, people with those readings are now considered as having either elevated pressure of 120 to 129 systolic and less than 80 diastolic or Stage 1 hypertension of 130 to 139 systolic or 80 to 89 diastolic.
A reading of 140/90 mm Hg or more is categorized to be Stage 2 hypertension, and any reading higher than 180/120 mm Hg as a hypertensive crisis.
What necessary to do
In case you had previously been diagnosed with high blood pressure, the new blood pressure guidelines don’t really affect you like that.
because you still need to move on with your efforts to lower it using medication, diet, exercise, and weight loss.
Although, based on new information in the guidelines, your doctor may suggest treating your blood pressure to a minimal level.
The biggest issue is that most men ages 65 and older all of a sudden find themselves diagnosed with elevated or high blood pressure because the new normal is an exceptional 20 points lower than before.
Does this mean that immediate prescription for blood pressure drugs is not necessary?.
Before anything, you should talk to their doctor first, and then adjust lifestyle habits, like getting more exercise, losing weight, and following a heart-healthy diet like the DASH or Mediterranean diet.
Medications are suggested to reduced blood pressure in Stage 1 hypertension if you’ve already had a heart attack or stroke or if your 10-year risk of a heart attack is higher than 10%. (You can find your 10-year estimation here www.cvriskcalculator.com
For people with Stage 1 hypertension, lifestyle changes are enough as the recommendation.
However, the new guidelines will enable people to get more engaged with monitoring their blood pressure, and this hopefully prevents problems from hypertension.
Diet and lifestyle changes are strong medicine. Even if your blood pressure is okay now, you can assist to prevent it from becoming elevated starting from today.
Eating more fruits, veggies, and whole grains, and reduce foods that have high sodium, unhealthy fats and also avoid junks food. Be physically active as much as possible, not anyone but for yourself.