The new AHA standards means almost half of Americans may now have high blood pressure.
High blood pressure has been re-defined for the first time in 14 years. The Association now generally recommends that patients with Stage 1 hypertension only be prescribed medication in the event of a heart attack or stroke, and they're also recommending that pharmaceutical companies combine multiple blood pressure drugs.
Patients with blood pressure of 130/80 would now be diagnosed with hypertension or abnormally high blood pressure. "The days are pretty much over when doctors could walk into the office and tell people what to do, write a prescription and expect them to comply", he said on Twitter Tuesday.
The challenge with the previous guideline is a patient with a reading of 135 over 85 may not have been treated for high blood pressure, Gandhi said.
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By lowering the threshold, the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology hope to spur earlier intervention, to prevent further increases in blood pressure, and the complications that come with it.
This comes after the American Heart Association redefined guidelines for the first time in almost a decade.
Identifying socioeconomic status and psychosocial stress as risk factors for high blood pressure that should be considered in a patient's plan of care.
The blood pressure categories have changed under the new guidelines.
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"Millions of more people hopefully will have increased awareness about their blood pressure and maybe pay more attention to low salt diet, to diet, to exercise, to weight loss... it doesn't necessarily mean medication right off the bat", Mookherjee said.
The old standard listed a reading above 140 over 90 as high blood pressure. "Saying, 'Hey maybe you should get a blood pressure cuff at home and start monitoring that blood pressure and bring in those numbers for us to review together at your next visit'".
"High blood pressure is called the silent killer because it usually has no signs or symptoms to go with it", says Dr. Calvin. Now 103 million people will have high blood pressure.
More Sunshine, Warmer Monday
FRIDAY NIGHT/SATURDAY: Models indicate a more dynamic system towards the end of the week, but differ slightly on timing. After that, we will clear out for the rest of the day with a mostly sunny and warmer afternoon in the low 60s.