Diabetes, Heart, and Cardiovascular Diseases News Chronicle.      Article 290

The Systolic Pressure Of 130 Mm Hg Is The New High Blood Pressure


The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) have announced the new blood pressure guidelines at the Scientific Sessions conference - 2017, held in Anaheim, California, the United States. The new guidelines have redefined the high blood pressure as 130/80 mm Hg or above. Previously, high blood pressure was equal to or above 140/90 mm Hg. A high blood pressure is a risk factor for cardiovascular and heart (or cardiac) diseases.

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The high systolic blood pressure (130 mm Hg) can cause a higher risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD).

These ACC/AHA guidelines were written by more than 11 health organizations. The scientists and the health experts have reviewed more than 900 published studies in preparing the new guidelines.

With this update, nearly 46 percent of the adults in the United States are with high blood pressure but a small increase in the number of adult patients under the antihypertensive medication.

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The lead author says that an individual should try to reduce the blood pressure without medications (or drugs) when the blood pressure reaches the level of 130/80 mm Hg as the heart complications may start at that level. Patients should reduce the high blood pressure with the following healthy lifestyle measures.

  • Eating a healthy diet.
  • Reducing sodium (salt) consumption to less than 1500 mg per day.
  • Avoiding alcohol consumption or limiting the consumption to two or fewer drinks for men and one drink or less for women.
  • Avoiding tobacco usage.
  • Reducing stress levels.
  • Increasing the potassium consumption to 3,500 mg per day.
  • Eating the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet.
  • Minimum of 30 minutes of exercise per day three times a week to lose weight or to reduce body mass index (BMI).

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The lead author of the new guidelines says that the risk of damage to blood vessels and the risk of cardiovascular diseases can double when the blood pressure reaches the level of 130/80 mm Hg when compared with the risk when the blood pressure was at 120/80 mm Hg.

The new guidelines have removed the use of prehypertension. Earlier, prehypertension was used to refer a condition when blood pressure is between 120 and 139 mm Hg. The authors defined blood pressure categories as.

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New type Systolic pressure
(mm Hg)
  Diastolic pressure
(mm Hg)
Normal Less than 120 And Less than 80
Elevated Between 120 and 129 And Less than 80
High blood pressure (Hypertension) Stage 1 Between 130 and 139 Or Between 80 and 89
High blood pressure (Hypertension) Stage 2 At least 140 Or At least 90
Hypertensive crisis (Emergency care needed) Over 180 Or Over 120

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The new guidelines have recommended the treatment (or medication) for individuals with Stage I hypertension. The guidelines also suggest that the blood pressure should be an average of at least two to three tests taken on at least two different occasions.

They recommended the "ASCVD Risk Estimator Plus" formula to find out the risk of 10-year ASCVD (Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease). The formula uses the following factors in the 10-year ASCVD risk calculator.

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  • Age of an individual.
  • Race.
  • Sex.
  • Whether taking aspirin therapy.
  • Whether taking statin therapy.
  • LDL cholesterol levels.
  • HDL cholesterol levels.
  • Total cholesterol levels.
  • Systolic pressure.
  • Diabetes history.
  • Treatment for hypertension.
  • Tobacco use.

The lead author of the guidelines was Paul K. Whelton, MB, MD, MSc, FACC, an American physician-scientist, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, the United States. The study was published on November 13, 2017, in the American Heart Association journal - Hypertension. Title of the article was "New ACC/AHA High Blood Pressure Guidelines Lower Definition of Hypertension."
DOI: doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2017.11.006

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Published on January 16, 2018


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