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More than half of all Americans now have high blood pressure, according to the guidelines released by the American Heart Association and 10 other health groups.Some of the changes included in the new guidelines are the removal of prehypertension category and high blood pressure starts at 130/80 instead of 140/90.
Practicing physicians and the public are "going to be a little bit shocked or taken aback by a diagnosis of Stage 1 hypertension with a blood pressure of 130/80, which historically has been considered a normal, well-controlled blood pressure.That will involve 50% of men and 38% of all adult women in the US," said Dr.William White, a professor in the cardiology center at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.
New Guidelines for Hypertension
About 21 scientists who reviewed more than 900 studies authored the new guidelines and believe that the impact will be greatest among the younger and middle-aged adults.New blood pressure thresholds and recommendations for treatment and follow-up are as follows:
- Normal blood pressure is 120/80.People with normal BP should promote healthy lifestyle habits.Reassessment of blood pressure may be performed after one year.
- Elevated blood pressure is 120-129/80.People with elevated BP should enroll in a non-pharmacological therapy with a reassessment period of three to six months.
- Stage 1 hypertension 130-139/80-89.People with stage 1 hypertension must be checked for any signs of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.In order to control high blood pressure, the patient is recommended to be enrolled in non-pharmacological therapy with reassessment period of three to six months.For patients with ASCVD signs, a non-pharmacological therapy and BP-lowering medication are recommended to manage high blood pressure.If the goal is achieved, the patient can maintain the current treatment program with reassessment period of three to six months.If not, the patient needs to be reassessed and the treatment may be intensified to manage blood pressure.
- Stage 2 hypertension above 140/90.Follows the same management pathway of stage 1 hypertension.People with 140/90 BP should immediately receive treatment to prevent complications.
Hypertensive crisis is a severe increase in blood pressure of 180/120 and beyond that can lead to heart attack, stroke, and unconsciousness.There are signs that can indicate a hypertensive crisis that you can use to seek emergency medical aid or to alert household members, friends, and neighbors.
Signs and symptoms include severe chest pain, severe headaches with blurred vision and confusion, nausea and vomiting, severe anxiety, shortness of breath, and nosebleeds.Hypertensive crisis has two categories -- urgent and emergency.Urgent hypertensive crisis means that your doctor does not suspect any damage to your vital organs.But an emergency hypertensive crisis can cause damage to your organs and may even lead to life-threatening complications.
Interventions that do not require BP medications are focused on the patient's diet, physical activity, and lifestyle.
1.Weight loss is recommended for patients with elevated BP.
2.Switching to Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension or DASH diet, a heart-friendly diet designed to achieve the desired weight for patients with elevated BP.
3.Reduction of sodium consumption for patients with elevated BP.
4.Dietary modification with the addition of potassium supplement.
5.A structured exercise regimen to increase the physical activity of the patient.
6.Restriction of daily alcohol consumption for people who regularly consume alcoholic drinks.Adult men can drink up to two standard drinks and one only for women.
Drug Intervention to Manage Hypertension
Physicians may suggest drug intervention to further control your high blood pressure and reduce the risk of developing ASCVD.
- BP-lowering medications are recommended for patients with history or signs of cardiovascular diseases and an average BP of 130/80.
- BP-lowering medications are recommended to prevent CVD in people with no history of CVD, with an estimated 10-year ASCVD risk of less than 10 percent, and BP of 140/90 or higher.Photo By stevepb via Pixabay
Ways to Control Blood Pressure
People who are at risk or have a family history of hypertension should consider making lifestyle changes to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.There are many ways you can control your blood pressure the need to take BP-lowering drugs, according to the Mayo Clinic.
1.Monitor your waistline.Blood pressure usually rises as your weight increases.If you are overweight, it can disrupt your breathing while asleep that raises your blood pressure even higher.Men with a waist measurement of 40 inches are at risk of hypertensive while it is 35 inches in women.
2.Consistent exercise for at least 30 minutes during most days of the week can help lower your blood pressure by five to nine millimeters per mercury, the first number in BP reading.
3.Eating a healthy diet composed of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables can lower your blood pressure by up to 14 mm Hg.
4.Less consumption of sodium or salt can help control your blood pressure.A small reduction in your sodium intake can lower your blood pressure by 2 to 8 mm Hg.
5.Put a limitation on your alcohol consumption.A small intake of alcoholic drinks can lower your blood pressure by 2 to 4 mm Hg.