Your Blood Pressure — An Important Update!

New Blood Pressure Guidelines

Did you know that new blood pressure guidelines were released 2 days ago?

While you might not have been diagnosed with hypertension last week, this week may be a very different story.

You May Now Have Hypertension

If your blood pressure is 130/80 you now have hypertension. That comes from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.

120/80, previously normal, is now considered elevated.

What does all this mean? It means that you can no longer rest on your laurels thinking what a good job you're doing if your blood pressure is 130/80, 125/80 or even 120/80.

Do you want to know why the guidelines have changed? It's because after reviewing three years of research, they found that fewer people died if their blood pressure was treated at lower levels. Now instead of 32% of American adults being diagnosed with hypertension, it will be  46%! But high blood pressure will now be staged...

Blood pressure 120/80 -- elevated

130/80 to 139/89 -- Stage 1 hypertension

140/90 and above -- Stage 2 hypertension

180/120 or higher -- Hypertensive crisis, this is an emergency, go directly to an emergency department

What Can You Do?

But just because you get diagnosed with high blood pressure, that does not mean you need medication. For stage 1 hypertension the first treatment involves changes in your lifestyle. If you subscribe to the Say No To Stroke! newsletter, you know what that means, right? Eat more fruits and vegetables, eat whole grains, exercise more, eat less salt, etc.

Try the DASH diet. It lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart failure and stroke. Eat more foods with potassium, like bananas.

Limit your alcohol to less than two drinks a day for men, one for women.


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