Do You Have High Blood Pressure and Don't Know It?

December 6,2017

The American Heart Association has moved the minimum number for high pressure from the old standard of 140/90 to the newly revised 130/80, which is the first change in 14 years. Under the 2017 guidelines, the number of men under age 45 with a diagnosis of high blood pressure is expected to triple while the prevalence among women of the same age will double. However, according to the American Heart Association, there will only be a small increase in the number of US adults who will require antihypertensive medication. With the new guidelines in place, 103 million Americans (up from 72 million) will need to make lifestyle changes including their diet and exercise regimen.

New AHA Blood Pressure Categories

In addition to tightening the definition of what high blood pressure means, new guidelines from the American Heart Association create the following new blood pressure categories:  

  • Normal Blood Pressure (still 120 over - less than 80)
  • Elevated Blood Pressure (120 to 129 over - less than 80)
  • Stage 1 Hypertension (130 to 139 over - 80 to 89)
  • Stage 2 Hypertension (140 or higher over - 90 or higher)
  • Hypertensive Crisis (above 180 over - 120 or higher)

The old category of pre-hypertension (120 to 139 over - 80 to 89) has been eliminated under the new AHA guidelines.

Newcomers Urged to Make Immediate Lifestyle Changes

Blood pressure is the force of blood flowing through your blood vessels. When it’s consistently too high, it can damage the delicate tissues inside the arteries. While the new guidelines significantly increase the number of Americans diagnosed with hypertension, this does not suggest a proportionate increase in treating the disease with medication. As a result of the new guidelines, the number of Americans with hypertension who are recommended for medical treatment would increase by only 5%. If you want to know more about how the recent changes impact you or a loved one, schedule an appointment at either PrimeMed location to speak directly with a board-certified physician. It's important to take care of your blood pressure.