New Blood Pressure Guidelines Now Means Hypertension For Half Of Americans

New blood pressure guidelines released from the American College of Cardiology and Heart Association now consider about half of Americans to have hypertension, or high blood pressure.

That’s compared to only about one third of Americans — under the previous standard.

These are the newest guidelines released since 2003 and it’s all based on numbers they’ve been crunching for a few years now.

“These are all evidence-based guidelines,” said Dr. David Klee, a family practice medical doctor. “They reviewed over 900 published articles to come up with the best data.”

For the past 14 years, doctors would say you had hypertension if your blood pressure read 140 over 90.

Now — that’s changed to 130 over 80.

By doing this, about one half of Americans now are considered hypertensive versus one third with the old levels.

Hypertension creates a domino effect toward other health issues: strokes, brain aneurysms, diabetes, heart attacks, and ultimately — death.

Even by the old guidelines, Doctor Klee has seen a progressive increase in the amount of Americans with hypertension over the last 10 years.

“I think a lot of it’s related to the obesity epidemic,” he said. “In our culture these days, people don’t eat very healthy diets. We don’t exercise much. We drink too much alcohol. Eat too much salt.”

Instead — exports encourage a more colorful plate.

“Eat more whole foods eat less processed food and for blood pressure control we are really kind of looking at the mineral content, and the mineral content is more appropriately balanced when they eat whole foods and less appropriately balanced when they eat processed food,” said registered dietitian, Laura McCain.

Plenty of veggies — paired with 30 minutes of aerobic activity or weight training a few times per week.

“Ideally you do diet and exercise first because it is more powerful than anything else you can do,” she said.

“The biggest thing is for people to understand that this is important and it increases your risk of dying early and so trying to examine what you’re doing at home and what can you do to make yourself healthier,”

Doctor Klee recommends to get your blood pressure checked regularly and not to panic if you fall under the new guidelines.

Because healthier lifestyle choices alone can improve blood pressure by about 10 points – without medicine.

Categories: Health, Michigan This Morning