Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Almost half of Americans have high blood pressure, new guidelines say

High blood pressure salt GETTY Images High blood pressure could be reduced by lowering salt intake
Sammy Stanley | 15 November, 2017, 00:26

Millions of Americans are being told to look at their numbers after the American Heart Association (AHA), American College of Cardiology and nine other health professional organizations gave a major overhaul to blood pressure guidelines.

Almost half of all Americans have high blood pressure according to new guidelines, with cardiologists saying Tuesday it offers an opportunity to promote better health.

The higher a person's blood pressure, the higher their risk is of developing heart disease, which means they're more likely to suffer poor health and die early, according to the guideline authors. Normal blood pressure is considered to be 120 over 80.

The number of adults with high blood pressure, or hypertension, will rise to 103 million from 72 million under the previous standard.

The guidelines recommend lifestyle changes, eating a healthy, low-sodium diet, rich in potassium - bananas, potatoes, avocados, leafy green vegetables - weight loss, exercise, and cutting out alcohol and tobacco.

"It doesn't mean you need medication, but it's a yellow light that you need to be lowering your blood pressure, mainly with non-drug approaches". The report said: "People with those readings now will be categorised as having either elevated (120-129 and less than 80) or stage 1 hypertension (130-139 or 80-89)".

FOX Business reached out to some of the top pharma companies named above but did not immediately receive a comment on how the new guidelines could potentially impact sales going forward.

Identifying socioeconomic status and psychosocial stress as risk factors for high blood pressure that should be considered in a patient's plan of care.

The proper technique must be used to measure blood pressure, and levels "should be based on an average of two to three readings on at least two different occasions", according to the new guidelines.

"By being more aggressive when people are younger, we hope to prevent bad outcomes later", Dr. Siddharth Gandhi of Advocate Heart Institute at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal said Monday.

Experts said the majority of Americans affected won't need medication but will need to make lifestyle changes.

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