New Thresholds for High Blood Pressure

A recent move by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology has increased the number of American adults with what is considered high blood pressure to 46 percent of the population. Hypertension or high blood pressure damages blood vessels and contributes to clogged arteries puts patients at significant risk for heart attack, stroke, and other serious medical conditions. The previous threshold was 140/90. The higher number measured the force the blood puts on the artery walls when the heart contracts, while the lower number measures the same force between beats. Now the threshold will be 130/80 to increase awareness of risk factors. Regular exercise, smoking cessation, and healthy eating habits are all essential to lowering blood pressure.