Blood pressure guidelines tougher, more people to be diagnosed

Glen Mclaughlin
November 15, 2017

America's leading heart experts on Monday issued new guidelines for high blood pressure that mean tens of millions more Americans will meet the criteria for the condition, and will need to change their lifestyles or take medicines to treat it.

Under new health guidelines for hypertension, almost half of all adults in the United States suffer from high blood pressure and are at risk of major health problems.

Cardiologist Dr. Tara Narula joins "CBS This Morning" to discuss the impact of the new guidelines.

The guidelines do not change the definition of normal blood pressure as 120/80 or lower.

Tighter blood pressure guidelines from USA heart organizations mean millions more people need to make lifestyle changes, or start taking medication, in order to avoid cardiovascular problems.

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Gandhi recommends that people who are at risk of high blood pressure buy a quality blood pressure cuff that wraps around their arms and to become comfortable taking their own blood pressure readings from time to time and reporting them to their doctor. One was tasked with lowering their systolic pressure (the first number, which measures the blood pressure when your heart pulses) to below 120, the other, to below 140.

High blood pressure is caused when the force of blood pushing against vessel walls is too high. However, most of the people now considered to have hypertension will be treated with lifestyle changes, like diet and exercise improvements, and not blood pressure medication, according to the authors.

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.

"High blood pressure is called the silent killer because it usually has no signs or symptoms to go with it", says Dr. Calvin. The report said: "People with those readings now will be categorised as having either elevated (120-129 and less than 80) or stage 1 hypertension (130-139 or 80-89)".

WECT's Ben Smart is interviewing two cardiologists today to understand what these new heart health guidelines mean for you.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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