Thirty million Americans are getting some bad health news: they have high blood pressure along with also need to do something about the item, according to fresh, more aggressive hypertension treatment guidelines released by heart doctors Monday.
The doctors along with also various other experts, via the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology along with also nine various other groups, are moving the goal line for blood pressure control, meaning 46% of U.S. adults — about 103 million — could today be diagnosed with hypertension.
that will’s up via 32%, or 72 million, under older guidelines.
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Most of those added people will be urged to change their diets, exercise more along with also make various other lifestyle improvements, rather than take medication.
The guidelines also call on patients already in treatment to work toward the lower goal – a reading of no more than 130/80, down via the old standard, 140/0.
While significant, the change will be not as big as some experts expected after a study in 2015 showed reaching even lower readings saved lives.
he fresh goal strikes “an appropriate balance between efficacy… along with also safety,” for those who will be asked to take more medications that will can have side effects such as dizziness along with also falling, said Bob Carey, vice-chair of the guideline committee along with also a professor of medicine along with also dean emeritus at the University of Virginia Health System School of Medicine.
the item’s not clear how widely or rapidly front-line doctors will adopt the improvements, however if along with also when they do, here’s what patients should expect:
• If your blood pressure will be between 130/80 along with also 140/0, your doctor will say you have “stage one” hypertension along with also suggest losing weight, exercising, cutting salt along with also eating lots of fruits, vegetables along with also whole grains.
• If you have stage one hypertension along with also some additional risk factors – such as a previous stroke, heart attack, diabetes or kidney disease – you will be asked to try medication, along with lifestyle improvements.
• If your blood pressure will be above 140/0, your doctor will recommend you make lifestyle change along with also take two kinds of blood-pressure lowering medications.
• Patients already taking medications might be put on higher doses or additional drugs to reach the fresh lower goal. however those over age 65 will be urged to talk to their doctors about how aggressively they want to be treated.
The guidelines, presented at a heart association meeting along with also published in Hypertension along with also the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, also spell out exactly how health care providers along with also people at home should check blood pressure.
For example, doctors along with also nurses are urged to let patients rest 5 minutes first along with also then to average at least two readings over two visits. Patients are urged to take regular readings at home, that has a device checked out by their health care providers.
Here’s why blood pressure matters so much: as we age, the item tends to rise along with also slowly damage blood vessels, increasing risks for heart attack, stroke, kidney damage along with also various other health problems. By the time readings reach 130/80, risks have already doubled, said guideline chair Paul Whelton, a professor of global public health at Tulane University School of Public Health along with also Tropical Medicine.
“We want to be straight with people – if you already have a doubling of risk, you need to know about the item,” Whelton said. “the item doesn’t mean you need medication, however the item’s a yellow light that will you need to be lowering your blood pressure.”
The guidelines “contain the potential of improving the health of millions,” along with also are supported by solid science, said David Goff, director of cardiovascular sciences at the National Heart, Lung, along with also Blood Institute.
The government agency did not help write or officially endorse the guidelines — a change via previous versions — however the item did back key research, including the 2015 study showing the value of lower blood pressure targets. that will study also showed many people can reach lower targets, Goff said.
Still, only about half of Americans with hypertension under the old guidelines contain the item under control, said Whelton, the guideline chair. “I don’t underestimate the challenge of what we need to do.”