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American Heart Association: New Hypertension Guidelines

Nov 15, 2017

Highlights A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines

A new hypertension guideline was recently published by the American College of Cardiology & American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines. These are the highlights of the report:

1. Hypertension is now defined as BP of 130/80 or higher (previous definition was 140/90 or higher). A significant number of people will be classified as having hypertension with this new definition.

  • Most of these newly classified patients can prevent hypertension-related health problems such as heart attacks and strokes through lifestyle changes alone.
  • Some patients, particularly with higher risk or pre-existing cardiovascular conditions may benefit from BP-lowering medications along with lifestyle changes.

2. Accurate measurements of BP (properly calibrated instruments and proper basic BP measurement technique) is important. It also emphasizes having patients monitor their own BP to guide diagnosis, treatment, and management.

3. Lifestyle changes can effectively reduce systolic BP (by 4 to 11mm Hg for patients with hypertension).

  • DASH diet, which is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products
  • Reduce sodium intake and increase dietary potassium intake (except with existing kidney disease)
  • Maintain an ideal body weight
  • Physical activity (e.g. 90 to 150 minutes of aerobic and/or dynamic resistance exercise per week and/or 3 sessions per week of isometric resistance exercises)
  • For patients who drink alcohol, reduce intake to 2 or fewer drinks daily for men and no more than 1 drink daily for women

4. BP-lowering medication, in addition to lifestyle changes, is utilized based on level of BP together with the patient’s risk for cardiovascular disease (e.g. heart attack or stroke).

NOTE:

For BP measurement and management of hypertension, please Contact Us at the Health Services.