Half of U.S. adults now have high blood pressure

Henrietta Strickland
November 16, 2017

Normal blood pressure still will be considered 120 over 80.

A panel of healthcare associations, including the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, published new criteria this week redefining what classified as hypertension or high blood pressure. Poor diets, lack of exercise and other bad habits cause 90 percent of high blood pressure.

With this new blood pressure level, it's estimated the percentage of adult Americans diagnosed with hypertension will increase from 34 percent to 46 percent, with the largest increase in Hispanic men, White said.

The new definition of high blood pressure is 130/80 millimetres of mercury or greater: the first number represents the pressure on the blood vessels when the heart contracts, and the second is when the heart relaxes. University of Nebraska Medical Center Associate Professor of Internal Medicine Dr. Rae Witt says those numbers have been lowered.

Meanwhile, scientists have also issued new warnings about the dangers of fluctuating blood pressure.

Dr. Witt says there has been a lot of research over the past five to ten years has shown that the risk associated with high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, kidney disease and eye disease, occur at lower blood pressure than they originally thought. Doctors are hoping the lower number will lead to earlier detection and intervention for blood pressure and heart-related illnesses, particularly in younger people, who can course correct their behaviors.

"Eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, and if your doctor has prescribed you medications for your blood pressure, be sure and take them consistently".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER