The American Heart Association announced new guidelines for blood pressure readings, and the adjustment means millions more Americans are now classified as having high blood pressure.
For decades, high blood pressure was classified as having a top reading of 140 and a bottom reading of 90, but those numbers have been adjusted to 130 and 80. This means an additional 14 percent of US adults have a blood pressure issue, and now nearly half of American adults are dealing with the problem. The American Heart Association did say that only about two percent of those added to the classification need medication right away.
Tackling High Blood Pressure
Aside from taking medications to manage high blood pressure, there are some simple steps you can do to help get your blood pressure under control. The most common treatment techniques include:
- Eating a healthier diet
- Getting plenty of exercise
- Avoid smoking or excessive alcohol intake
- Take certain supplements
The main goal of the new guidelines is to paint a more accurate picture for those who might be at risk for certain complications of high blood pressure, like heart disease or stroke. Here’s a closer look at the new blood pressure classifications:
Normal – Under 120 over 80.
Elevated – Between 120-129 and a bottom less than 80.
Stage 1 – Top number of 130-139 and a bottom of 80-89.
Stage 2 – Top at least 140 or bottom at least 90.
46 percent of American adults fall into either Stage 1 or Stage 2 under the new classifications. Left unchecked or untreated, high blood pressure can lead to a whole host of health problems in your feet and throughout your whole body. Individuals with diabetes should be especially aware of the potential complications and make changes to their daily habits.
So the next time you head to the doctor’s office, don’t be surprised if they talk to you about the new blood pressure guidelines and where you stand on the updated chart. The whole goal of this is to help people understand that they are at risk earlier so intervention strategies can be implemented. If you have any questions about these guidelines or a foot issue, please reach out to Dr. Silverman in the contact box below.