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Recent Changes to Blood Pressure Standards: How it may affect you and what to do about it

January 10, 2018

Most of us have our blood pressure checked each time we visit the doctor.  For many of us, this can bring us face to face with hypertension, or high blood pressure. This condition can cause many complications including aneurysm, chronic kidney disease, cognitive changes, eye damage, heart attack, heart failure, peripheral artery disease, and stroke.

 

Anyone can develop high blood pressure. However, age, race or ethnicity, being overweight, gender, lifestyle habits, and a family history of high blood pressure (read here to find out why family medical history is important) can increase your risk for developing high blood pressure.

 

Blood pressure also tends to rise with age. About 65 percent of Americans age 60 or older have high blood pressure. However, the risk for pre-hypertension and high blood pressure is increasing for children and teens, possibly due to the rise in the number of overweight children and teens.

 

What constitutes high blood pressure? When your doctor takes your blood pressure they are looking at two numbers: the first number is the pressure that the heart uses to push blood through your arteries, and the second number is the pressure when the heart is at rest between beats. A normal blood pressure reading would be 120/80 mm Hg.

 

For years, medical experts have considered a reading of 140/90 mm Hg or higher to be high blood pressure. Now, after extensive research, that standard has changed (change occuring in November 2017). The new standard for high blood pressure is considered to be 130/80 mm Hg or higher.

 

This means that you may now fall into the category of having high blood pressure. What now?

 

If your doctor finds you to have high blood pressure according to this new standard, they may recommend a change in diet and physical activity. If that doesn't work, they may prescribe you certain medications to treat high blood pressure.

 

Changes your doctor may recommend include:

If you are concerned about your blood pressure, visit with your doctor. They can diagnose whether you have high blood pressure and provide you with a treatment plan.

 

In the event that you or someone you love is aging and needs in home assistance with managing your high blood pressure, Sunshine Home Care may be able to help with out comprehensive disease management program. Contact us or call us at 1-877-477-2014 today for more information.

 

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