What Are New Blood Pressure Guidelines?

Q:
What are new blood pressure guidelines?

A:
New blood pressure guidelines are generally referred to The 2017 American College of Cardiology (ACC)/American Heart Association (AHA) Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Management of High Blood Pressure.

New guidelines removed the category of prehypertension. Blood pressure categories in new guidelines are:

  • Normal: Less than 120/80 mm Hg.
  • Elevated: Systolic between 120-129 and diastolic less than 80.
  • Stage 1: Systolic between 130-139 or diastolic between 80-89.
  • Stage 2: Systolic at least 140 or diastolic at least 90 mm Hg.
  • Hypertensive crisis: Systolic over 180 and/or diastolic over 120, with patients needing prompt changes in medication if there are no other indications of problems, or immediate hospitalization if there are signs of organ damage.

New guidelines emphasized that high blood pressure shall be treated earlier at 130/80 rather than 140/90. According to the criteria set by new guidelines, nearly half of the U.S. adults have high blood pressure.

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