New high blood pressure guidelines

A patient getting blood pressure checked

A patient getting blood pressure checked

The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) redefined high blood pressure as a reading of 130 over 80.

As of Monday, 30 million more Americans now suffer from high blood pressure. 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 can lead to strokes, heart disease and kidney failure, Dr. Paris says.

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

Doctors now recognise that complications "can occur at those lower numbers", said the first update to comprehensive USA guidelines on blood pressure detection and treatment since 2003. "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.

Blood pressure of 120 over 80 is still considered normal, with any systolic pressure reading up to 129 considered "elevated".


The changes were announced at the American Heart Association's 2017 Scientific Sessions conference in Anaheim, California.

The blood pressure categories have changed under the new guidelines.

Dr. Calvin says that can be addressed with lifestyle changes like eating more fruits and veggies, increasing exercise, and minimizing alcohol consumption.

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

Though more people will need treatment, Jarvis says most of those newly defined as having high blood pressure will not need medication. But only a small percentage of those patients will be prescribed anti-hypertensive medication, the association said. Now 103 million people will have high blood pressure.

Latest News