Almost half of Americans have high blood pressure, new guidelines say

High blood pressure patient

GETTY Images Salt is one of the main causes of high blood pressure

"The new definition results in only a small increase in the percentage of USA adults for whom antihypertensive medication is recommended in conjunction with lifestyle modification", according to the guidelines.

America's leading heart experts on Monday issued new guidelines for high blood pressure that mean tens of millions more Americans will meet the criteria for the condition, and will need to change their lifestyles or take medicines to treat it. Though, if patients with stage one have additional risk factors, such as a previous stroke, heart attack, diabetes or kidney disease, doctors may prescribe a medication, along with lifestyle changes. Now, it's 130/80. And the change is expected to triple the rate of high blood pressure for men under 45, and double it for women under 45. He says they will prevent disease by encouraging early treatment.

This comes after the American Heart Association redefined guidelines for the first time in almost a decade. It's also known as a "silent killer" because often there are no symptoms. "It doesn't mean you need medication, but it's a yellow light that you need to be lowering your blood pressure, mainly with non-drug approaches".

Kenneth Jamerson, M.D., Ph.D., professor of internal medicine and hypertension specialist at the University of MI was one of almost two dozen medical experts who wrote the new guidelines.

Harlan Krumholz, a cardiologist at Yale University, said the new definition will radically change how primary care doctors interact with their patients. The association recommends that those with stage 1 hypertension will only be prescribed medication if they have a heart attack or stroke.

"For the first time millions of American may be told that they have elevated blood pressure, whereas previously they've been told that their blood pressure is O.K.", says Dr. Andrew Calvin with the Cardiac Center at Mayo Clinic Health System.

Almost half of adults in ME likely have high blood pressure under new guidelines announced Monday. It measures the amount of pressure going through your heart when it's pumping.

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