Health tidbit-New blood pressure guidelines

In case you missed this, there are new blood pressure guidelines.

Everyone knows the complication of untreated high blood pressure, includes heart failure, heart attack, kidney failure and stroke.

Before, high blood pressure or high bp was 140/90 or higher.

Now, high blood pressure is 130/80 or higher.

The term prehypertension is no longer used.

The reason for the new guideline is to prevent cardiac complications before they set in. Conditions like
enlarged heart, heart failure, kidney failure can be prevented with good blood pressure control.

Typically, hypertension is diagnosed after 3 separate blood pressure measurements at separate times.

Blood pressure categories for the new guidelines are:

Normal: Less than 120/80 mm Hg;

Elevated: Systolic between 120-129 and diastolic less than 80;

Stage 1: Systolic between 130-139 or diastolic between 80-89;

Stage 2: Systolic at least 140 or diastolic at least 90 mm Hg;

Hypertensive crisis: Systolic over 180 and/or diastolic over 120, requires a change of medication or
immediate hospitalization if there is chest pain or signs of stroke or organ damage.

There are very good and accurate automatic blood pressure machines in the marketplace that
can be used to monitor bp (blood pressure) at home. The best blood pressure monitors are those with an upper arm cuff.

If hypertension is present, your doctor or nurse can help you control your blood pressure with prescription
blood pressure pills (antihypertensive medication).



Written by Dr. Onuoha. Article updated 8/18

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