New High Blood Pressure Guidelines | Stages of Hypertension

New High Blood Pressure Guidelines

In year 2003 the definition of High Blood pressure was set as above 140/90 mmHg. But in some cases it was found that even the readings lower than that can be harmful if they retain for long durations. So after a wait of 14 years the American Heart Association changed the definition of High Blood Pressure in 2017. Now anything above 130/80 will be considered as high blood pressure.

New Stages of Hypertension / High BP

  • 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 between 140 - 179 or diastolic at least 90 - 119 mm Hg.
  • Hypertensive crisis: Systolic above 180 and/or diastolic over 120.
Earlier Elevated and Stage 1 were known as a single stage "Prehypertension".

Prehypertension is Eliminated

Earlier the readings between 120/80 to 140/90 were considered as prehypertension, which means that the chances of being a high BP patient are present there. But the truth was that people never notice this stage. Most of the times people come to know about that only when they have jumped from prehypertension to High BP. However doctors suggest even a healthy person to get his/her blood pressure checked at regular intervals (weekly or monthly), but people ignore it. So this category of prehypertension was not acting as anything. Experts believed that eliminating this category, will be beneficial for both patient and society.

13% instant increase in number of patients

However these changed definitions will bring 13% more individuals into the "high plood pressure" community. Most of the new patients due to this change in categorization are among the age group of 25 to 45. Earlier people use to neglect the 130/80 mark , as they used to take it normal. But the changed definition will tick an alarm to get it treated. Earlier one-third population of US was considered as patient of Hypertension, but now this percentage has increased to 46% by a mere change in definition. This is sufficient to tell you about the seriousness of these new guidelines.

Not to increase medicine sale

However some of you might have a notion that it will increase the anti-hypertension medicine sale. But the truth is that the new comers in this category will be advised to make lifestyle changes to lower their blood pressure and save themselves from being a permanent patient of Hypertension. So these changes in definition might be beneficial for general population in long run and it will decrease the usage of blood pressure medication with a few years.

If people start taking their medical condition seriously then it will not only benefit their own health but their medical expenditure will also be saved in future. It can be beneficial for both, the individual and the nation. Heart Diseases are one of the major killers in US. This changed categorization of blood pressure will make people understand the seriousness of connection between hypertension and heart diseases.
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