The American Heart Association has redefined its guidelines regarding high blood pressure or hypertension, stating that those with a blood pressure of 130/80 should already take the necessary measures to prevent the condition, contrary to the popular practice of intervening only when it reaches 140/90 and beyond.
However, this new high blood pressure limit does not mean people should take medication at this early stage. Although, in some cases, medication may be prescribed, especially if a person has a history of cardiovascular disorders, such as a heart attack or stroke. It also depends on their age or if they have diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease or atherosclerosis.
The lead author of the new guidelines Paul Whelton told Channel News Asia that this new limit should be viewed as “a yellow light that you need to be lowering your blood pressure, mainly with non-drug approaches.”
Once a person’s blood pressure reaches this stage, a person has “already doubled (their) risk of cardiovascular complications compared to those with a normal level of blood pressure.” So it means they need to make the necessary lifestyle changes—weight loss, exercise, eating healthy, avoiding alcohol, smoking, and stress—to avoid their condition from worsening.
The normal and ideal blood pressure is still 120/80.
Because of this new guideline, it is expected that more people in their 40s—and even 30s—will be considered prehypertensive.
“The prevalence of high blood pressure is expected to triple among men under age 45, and double among women under 45,” states the report, which also explained that blood vessel damage begins once it reaches 130/80.
High blood pressure in the Philippines
About 1 out of 3 Filipinos have hypertension, but about half of them are not aware that they have high blood pressure. Each year, about 200,000 Filipino adults die directly or indirectly because of high blood pressure and its complications.
To this day, with all the medical advancements and information available online, there still needs to be more awareness about hypertension control and treatment in order to lessen the fatalities of this otherwise preventable condition.
It’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly, even if you don’t have any symptoms of hypertension, to make the necessary lifestyle changes as early as possible.
sources: ChannelNewsAsia.com, Inquirer.net, Philstar.com
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