December 14, 2017 – High Blood Pressure
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Anchor lead: What do changes in high blood pressure guidelines mean for you? Elizabeth Tracey reports
If you have a blood pressure reading where the top number, the systolic number, is over 130, or the lower number, the diastolic number, is above 80, you are now officially in the group of people considered to have high blood pressure, or hypertension. Michael Blaha, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, describes the new guidelines.
Blaha: The biggest change in the new blood pressure guidelines is the definition of elevated blood pressure. Whereas in the past you had to have a systolic blood pressure of over 140 or a diastolic blood pressure above 90 to be considered to have elevated blood pressure, now stage one hypertension is considered anyone with two readings separated in time of above 130 systolic and 80 diastolic. This brings millions more American adults into the group who have hypertension. :30
Blaha reiterates that high blood pressure is a known risk factor for strokes and heart attacks, so catching it early is crucial. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.