Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Medical | By Ismael Lynch

New blood pressure range means half of Americans have hypertension

New blood pressure range means half of Americans have hypertension

At the new cutoff, around 46 percent, or more than 103 million, of American adults are considered to have high blood pressure, compared with an estimated 72 million under the previous guidelines in place since 2003. The findings mean that an additional 14% of US adults, or about 30 million people, will now be diagnosed with high blood pressure, bringing the total number to 100 million people living with the condition in the U.S.

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

The guidelines were presented at the heart association's annual Scientific Sessions in Anaheim, Calif.

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)".

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

Dr. Shearer says changing the guidelines gives you a chance to make lifestyle changes like eating healthier and exercising regularly before it's too late.

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Identifying socioeconomic status and psychosocial stress as risk factors for high blood pressure that should be considered in a patient's plan of care.

"I think this will encourage both patients to adhere to recommendations but also clinicians to be more vigorous in their attempts to prescribe lifestyle changes", said Dr. Pamela Morris, chair of the ACC's committee on prevention of cardiovascular disease.

"A lot more people are going to be diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure), but the result will be fewer cardiovascular events down the road", Gandhi said.

"There are millions of people that fall into this category that's now called Stage One Hypertension who previously we were calling normal blood pressures", Cardiology Director for the Heart and Vascular Institute at the Hartford Healthcare Corporation at MidState Medical Center Dr. Bill Farrell said. But only a small percentage of those patients will be prescribed anti-hypertensive medication, the association said.

"High blood pressure is called the silent killer because it usually has no signs or symptoms to go with it", says Dr. Calvin.

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