High blood pressure re-defined, 130/80 now considered high

WSYR-TV - High blood pressure has been re-defined for the first time in 14 years.

130/80 is the new high -- a change from the old definition of 140/90.

The new guidelines will result in nearly half of U.S. adults having high blood pressure, or hypertension -- but, there will only be a small increase in those prescribed medication. 

By lowering the threshold, the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology hope to spur earlier intervention, to prevent further increases in blood pressure, and the complications that come with it. 

"You can do a lot with a healthy lifestyle, better diet, to bring your blood pressure down and not necessarily need to be on medication. So, I think for those patients it may be a wake up call," said Dr. Eugene Lozner of the NY Heart Center in Syracuse. 

Dr. Dana Aiello of the Cardiovascular Group of Syracuse added, "Early intervention can reduce the risk of heart failure by 60 percent, heart attack by 20 percent, and stroke by 40 percent."  

High blood pressure is second only to smoking when it comes to preventable heart disease and stroke deaths.

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