By the millions, more and more Americans are being diagnosed with high blood pressure, but that could actually be a good thing.
New guidelines by the American College of Cardiology are geared towards helping with early detection.
Doctors now diagnose normal or healthy blood pressure at a lower threshold, making a measure LESS THAN 120/80 the norm instead of 130/80. Blood pressure between 120-129 is considered to be elevated, and 130-139 stage 1 hypertension, 140-149 stage 2, and so on.
The change in guidelines will help to prevent complications rather than having to resort to interventional methods later down the road.
Symptoms of high blood pressure may be headaches or fatigue, and sometimes go unnoticed, which is why hypertension is often referred to as the silent killer.
“This can lead to stroke, cardiovascular events like heart attack, kidney damage requiring dialysis, eye damage, and a lot of other complications on the macro and microvascular systems,” said Invasive Cardiologist at Trinity Health, Dr. Ahamad Daraghmeh. “This is why we need to detect the problem early.”
Dr. Daraghmeh said ways to keep your blood pressure in check are a low salt diet, 160 minutes of exercise a week, or weight loss.
People with sleep apnea are also at a higher risk of hypertension.
For anyone who may snore due to sleep apnea, getting a sleep study and fixing that issue can bring their blood pressure down as well.