New guidelines for high blood pressure are once again making the news. According to the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, hypertension has been redefined. The experts are now telling us that if you have readings above 130/80, you have high blood pressure. This statement has caused a lot of controversy. Many are stepping forward to state that pharmaceutical companies may be involved in these new guidelines.
What else do the new guidelines tell us?
- Treatment is now recommended for ambulatory adults in the community (over or under 65 years of age) with an average SPB of 130 mm Hg or higher. Your blood pressure would be considered elevated if it is 120-129 over 80.
- Treatment is suggested for the purpose of lowering blood pressure in older adults, depending on their risks of heart disease. This will also depend on the possible risks from the medication itself.
Many of us have never had our blood pressure measured properly. Before your doctor begins checking your pressure, you should be seated in a relaxed position for several minutes. It should be checked at least twice. In order to confirm high readings you would need to return on another occasion and go through the same procedure again. It has also been recommended that you check your own pressure at another location in order to confirm readings that have been taken with your healthcare provider.
What is most important in regard to your blood pressure is your lifestyle. Talk to your doctor about what your BP should be and then work toward that goal by making the necessary changes in your diet and the amount of exercise you do each day. Approach your blood pressure reading in a way that does not include taking medication. To read more about the new guidelines, click here.