New blood pressure guidelines for "silent, deadly health crisis"

Garlic high blood pressure

The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) redefined high blood pressure as a reading of 130 over 80.

Under new health guidelines for hypertension, almost half of all adults in the United States suffer from high blood pressure and are at risk of major health problems.

"It doesn't mean you need medication, but it's a yellow light that you need to be lowering your blood pressure, mainly with non-drug approaches".

"The new definition results in only a small increase in the percentage of US adults for whom antihypertensive medication is recommended in conjunction with lifestyle modification", according to the guidelines.

Harlan Krumholz, a cardiologist at Yale University, said the new definition will radically change how primary care doctors interact with their patients.

Dr. Larry Gordon from Aspirus said the association most likely made the changes to be proactive and lower the risk of people being diagnosed with more serious illnesses later on. Normal is defined as 120/80 or less. Five years later, when that patient has a reading of 140 over 90 and is overweight, he or she is at significantly greater risk of cardiovascular disease so they are immediately placed on blood pressure medicine and counseled on exercise and healthy eating.

High blood pressure is caused when the force of blood pushing against vessel walls is too high.

High blood pressure has even associated dementia.

FOX Business reached out to some of the top pharma companies named above but did not immediately receive a comment on how the new guidelines could potentially impact sales going forward.

Medication is recommended for people with stage 1 hypertension only "if a patient has already had a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack or stroke, or is at high risk of heart attack or stroke based on age, the presence of diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease or calculation of atherosclerotic risk". Anything above is now considered "elevated" or "Stage 1" or "Stage 2".

Experts said the majority of Americans affected won't need medication but will need to make lifestyle changes. In doing so, the first group saw a one-third reduction in heart attack, heart failure and stroke, and a one-fourth reduced risk of death.

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