5 Takeaways from new hypertension guidelines

November 25, 2017

The new guidance means that nearly 103 million Americans will now carry a diagnosis of high blood pressure following a visit to their physician.

The American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Cardiology recently announced new guidelines to define hypertension in patients as 130 mm Hg and higher for the systolic blood pressure measurement, or readings of 80 and higher for the diastolic measurement.
The new guidance means that nearly 103 million Americans will now carry a diagnosis of high blood pressure following a visit to their physician.

The AHA offers the following diagnosis guide for doctors...

 

5. <120/<80
NORMAL BLOOD PRESSURE


Recommendations to patients: Healthy lifestyle choices and yearly check-ups.

 

4. 120-129 / <80
ELEVATED BLOOD PRESSURE


Recommendations to patients: Healthy lifestyle changes and reassess in three to six months.

 

3. 130-139 / 80-89
HYPERTENSION, STAGE 1


Recommendations to patients: 10-year heart disease and stroke risk assessment. If there is a less than 10% risk, lifestyle changes should be reassessed in three to six months. If the risk is higher, lifestyle changes and medication (selected by physician) with monthly follow-ups until blood pressure is controlled.

 

2. ≥140/≥90
HYPERTENSION, STAGE 2

Recommendations to patients: Lifestyle changes and two different classes of medicine (selected by physician), with monthly follow-up visits until blood pressure is controlled.

 

1. >180/>120
HYPERTENSIVE CRISIS

Recommendation to patients: Address prompt changes in medications with physician if there are no other indications of problems, or immediate hospitalization if signs of organ damage.