New diagnosis guidelines mean almost half of US adults have high - KCTV5

New diagnosis guidelines mean almost half of US adults have high blood pressure

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The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have lowered the definition of high blood pressure, resulting in hypertension diagnoses for 46 percent of adult Americans. (KCTV5) The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have lowered the definition of high blood pressure, resulting in hypertension diagnoses for 46 percent of adult Americans. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have lowered the definition of high blood pressure, resulting in hypertension diagnoses for 46 percent of adult Americans.

Now, a blood pressure of 120/80 or above is considered elevated; 130/80 to 139/89 is considered Stage 1 hypertension; and 140/90 or above is considered Stage 2 hypertension.

The previous minimum for hypertension was 140/90.

“This will really change the way our patients are treated,” said Dr. Rachel Sosland, a cardiologist for Midwest Health and Vascular Specialists.

Sosland sees the new guidelines as a good thing. Earlier diagnosis means earlier treatment to stave off more serious health problems.

“Those include arterial damage and blood vessel damage, which can lead to dementia, heart attacks, vascular disease, kidney problems and vision changes,” said Sosland.

Some worry this will result in greater use of medications, but Sosland said that’s not necessarily true.

“In my practice as a cardiologist, I really focus on prevention and now we can even be more proactive with our patients and try to get their numbers even lower,” said Sosland.

She encourages patients to start with lifestyle changes. Cut salt out of the diet and eat more whole, fibrous foods. She also recommends at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise a day.

For more information on the new diagnosis guidelines, click here.

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