New Guidelines Change Blood Pressure Categories - KOAM TV 7

New Guidelines Change Blood Pressure Categories

Joplin, MO -

Many doctors have been going over universally revised blood pressure guidelines.  The prehypertension category has been eliminated.  The new guidelines also call for only prescribing medication for stage one hypertension if a patient already had a cardiovascular event, like a heart attack or stroke; or is at high risk of heart attack or stroke.

"The big change in this is now hypertension is defined as a blood pressure greater than 130," says Dr. Jahan Zeb, a cardiologist with Mercy Joplin.  "Traditionally, hypertension started at above 140, but now that has been lowered by about 10 points to start at 130."

The new guidelines also stress the importance of using proper technique to measure blood pressure.  Experts recommend people use home blood pressure monitoring systems.

"120 over 80 has traditionally been normal, and that remains the same.  What's new in these guidelines is individuals who have blood pressures between 120 to 129 are now considered as having elevated blood pressure," says Dr. Zeb.


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