“Blood Pressure Guidelines Make Almost Half of Americans Hypertensive”
New guidelines on blood pressure mean millions of Americans are considered hypertensive, which may require treatment. Millions more people need to make lifestyle changes, or start taking medication, to avoid cardiovascular problems, such as heart attacks and strokes. Americans with blood pressure of 130/80 mm Hg or higher should be treated, down from the previous trigger of 140/90 mm Hg, according to new guidelines announced at the annual 2017 meeting of the American Heart Association (AHA). These guidelines are also endorsed by the American College of Cardiology and 11 other organizations. At the new cutoff, around 46%, or more than 103 million, of American adults are now considered to have high blood pressure, compared with an estimated 72 million under the previous guidelines in place since 2003. High blood pressure accounts for the second-largest number of preventable heart disease and stroke deaths in the United States, second only to smoking. Potentially deadly high blood pressure can be brought under control with a wide array of medications, many sold as relatively inexpensive generics.