New Blood Pressure Guidelines Could Affect You! - Caroline Sutherland
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New Blood Pressure Guidelines Could Affect You!

New Blood Pressure Guidelines Could Affect You!

Just announced this week – New guidelines lower the threshold for high blood pressure high blood adding 30 million Americans to those who have the condition, which now plagues nearly half of U.S. adults.

High pressure, which for decades has been a top reading of at least 140 or a bottom one of 90, drops to 130 over 80 in advice announced Monday by a dozen medical groups.

The guidelines, announced at an American Heart Association conference in Anaheim, mean an additional 14 percent of U.S. adults have the problem.

It’s recommended that people with high blood pressure try healthier lifestyles, which get much stronger emphasis in the new advice. Poor diets, lack of exercise and other bad habits cause 90 percent of high blood pressure.

My take on it: follow a lower-carbohydrate diet, with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit, avoid offending foods, and stop drinking coffee! Caffeine can raise blood pressure. Offending foods or food allergens can raise blood pressure.

The upper threshold for high blood pressure has been 140 since 1993, but a major study two years ago found heart risks were much lower in people who aimed for 120. Canada and Australia lowered their cut-off to that number. Europe is still at 140 but is due to revise its guidance next year.

Currently, only half of Americans with high blood pressure have it under control. But people patients now classified as having hypertension should be able to manage their condition with diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes alone. That is the great news!

Hypertension is considered a silent killer – pay attention to your numbers:

  • Normal: Under 120 over 80
  • Elevated: Top number 120-129 and bottom less than 80
  • Stage 1: Top of 130-139 or bottom of 80-89
  • Stage 2: Top at least 140 or bottom at least 90
  • That means 46 percent of U.S. adults have high pressure (stages 1 or 2) versus 32 percent under the old levels. Time to make some lifestyle changes!