• Michelle Hebert

New blood pressure guidelines suggest many more at risk

On Nov. 13, 2017, at the American Heart Association’s annual scientific sessions, new blood pressure guidelines were announced. The blood pressure guidelines update is the first major one since 2003, Science News reported.

Old guide lines stated that anyone with 140/90 or over has high blood pressure, but new guidelines say anyone with 130/80 has high blood pressure, multiple sources reported. “A blood pressure reading measures the systolic pressure, or how much force the blood places on the walls of the arteries when the heart beats, and the diastolic pressure, the same force but when the heart rests between beats,” Science News reported.

The guidelines update has placed nearly half of all adults at a high blood pressure level. According to the New York Times, under the previous guidelines, 73 million people had high blood pressure, and the number will now rise to 103 million. Drug treatment is one type of treatment for people with high blood pressure, and the number of people who will receive drug treatment will rise by an estimated 4.2 million, the New York Times also reported.

There are other options for lowering blood pressure besides drug treatments, however. Exercising and eating a healthy diet are basic ways to lower blood pressure. Lowering the amount of sodium you consume is another way to lower your blood pressure. Blood pressure is a major issue in the world, but it is treatable.