High blood pres­sure a con­cern over 130 not 140

Global Times - - World -

High blood pres­sure was re­de­fined Mon­day 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 rec­og­nize 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.

Healthy life­style changes in­clude los­ing weight, ex­er­cis­ing more, eat­ing health­ier, avoid­ing al­co­hol and salt, quit­ting smok­ing and avoid­ing stress.

The new stan­dard means that nearly half of the US pop­u­la­tion will be de­fined as hav­ing high blood pres­sure.

Pre­vi­ously, one in three had the con­di­tion, which is the sec­ond lead­ing cause of pre­ventable heart dis­ease and stroke, af­ter cig­a­rette smok­ing.

The nor­mal limit for blood pres­sure is considered 120 for sys­tolic, or how much pres­sure the blood places on the artery walls when the heart beats, and 80 for di­as­tolic, which is mea­sured be­tween beats.

Once a per­son reaches 130/80, “you’ve al­ready dou­bled your risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar com­pli­ca­tions com­pared to those with a nor­mal level of blood pres­sure,” said Whel­ton.

“We want to be straight with peo­ple – if you al­ready have a dou­bling of risk, you need to know about it.”

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