LOS ANGELES: High blood pressure was redefined Monday (Nov 13) by the American Heart Association, which said the disease should be treated sooner, when it reaches 130/80 mm Hg, not the previous limit of 140/90.
Doctors now recognise that complications “can occur at those lower numbers,” said the first update to comprehensive US guidelines on blood pressure detection and treatment since 2003.
A diagnosis of the new high blood pressure does not necessarily mean a person needs to take medication, but that “it’s a yellow light that you need to be lowering your blood pressure, mainly with non-drug approaches,” said Paul Whelton, lead author of the guidelines published in the American Heart Association journal, Hypertension, and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Healthy lifestyle changes include losing weight, exercising more, eating healthier, avoiding alcohol and salt, quitting smoking and avoiding stress.
Previously, one in three (32%) had the condition, which is the second leading cause of preventable heart disease and stroke, after cigarette smoking. (more…)