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blood pressure guidelines and risk factors

Blood Pressure Guidelines, Definitions and Risk Factors (2020)

One of the biggest threats we all face is cardiovascular complications. Cardiovascular complications can cause a stroke, heart attack, heart failure, or sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). It is important to be aware of the risks of SCA, as there are plenty of preventative measures we can take.

Blood pressure is one of the most prevalent risk factors for cardiovascular disease. 

It is important to be accurately aware of what your average blood pressure is. Work with your healthcare provider to get an understanding of your numbers. Together as a team, you can determine what your level of risk is, and what your best path forward looks like in terms of managing it. This may include lifestyle changes like improving your nutritional intake and physical activity, moderating drug or alcohol intake, or perhaps even considering a medication to control your blood pressure.

Blood pressure guidelines

Scientific guidelines that define the risks of high blood pressure suggest that nearly half of Americans may suffer from the dangerous condition.

Blood Pressure Guidelines 2020

According to new guidelines, 130/80 is now considered high blood pressure (previously it was 140/90). This means that nearly half of adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure, as opposed to about one third under the previous definition. These guidelines are meant to help people control their blood pressure earlier by taking preventative action. 

What to do if you have high blood pressure

Although more people are being labeled as hypertensive and receiving medication, more lives than ever before are saved by using preventative measures.

Although the population of adults classified as having hypertension has increased, this does not mean that more medication is the only answer or requirement. More emphasis is now being put on a healthier lifestyle framework for patients. 

This includes a healthier diet that includes a reduction in salt intake and eating healthier, potassium-rich foods like avocados, potatoes, and bananas. Weight loss, decreased alcohol intake, a regular exercise routine and the avoidance of cigarettes can dramatically improve your health.

“We need to send the message that yes, you are at increased risk, and these are the things you should be doing,” said Whelton, chair of global public health at Tulane University in New Orleans.

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