If you were on the cusp before, you’re now at danger and hold a “significant risk for heart disease and death and disability”.
This past Monday, the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and nine other medically-related groups redefined exactly what constitutes high blood pressure. It was the first update to American health blood pressure guidelines in 14 years.
Previously, if you had a reading of 140 over 90 it was considered high, and now a reading of just 130 over 80 justifies the label.
What does it mean for the general population? Some are arguing that the change hopes to target hypertension in adults before it gets really bad, in the hopes of saving more lives.
Others say it could be another professionally-sanctioned cash grab. If it unfolds unlike the professionals say it will and more like it’s likely to, the change could result in millions more people taking blood pressure medication as a part of their daily regime than were doing so just last week.
Over 100 Million People
Here are the stats: 46 percent of U.S. adults, many of them under the age of 45 according to the Washington Post, are now under the new rules considered to be living with high blood pressure.
That’s over 110,400,000 people in one country, which is a heck of a lot of pills. (Is some pharmaceutical exec in the market for a new private island?)
Optimistically, the authors of the report say that few of the patients who now find themselves to be hypertensive will be treated with medication. Doctors, they say, will be encouraged to promote lifestyle changes.
Nice. I’ll say this: if this works as well as getting Americans to seek alternative treatments for pain relief such as massage therapy and acupuncture, buy your stocks now in Merck if you don’t already have them.
Here’s what the co-chairman of the group that produced the report had to say:
“We’re recognizing that blood pressures that we in the past thought were normal or so-called pre-hypertensive actually placed the patient at significant risk for heart disease and death and disability,” said Robert M. Carey. “The risk hasn’t changed. What’s changed is our recognition of the risk.”
Or, maybe those execs simply need another yacht and a bigger summer house in Maine.
Verging on high blood pressure and wanting to skip the pills?
Go for a walk after dinner every day. Enjoy the Christmas lights. Snack on apples instead of chips. Skip the alcohol, take up painting to de-stress once in a while and don’t go in for large seconds and thirds, but give yourself a break on Christmas day.
Reports indicate that the new lower score for blood pressure is expected to triple the number of younger men with high blood pressure. And it’s going to double the number of younger women.
Yes, there’s something else to worry about besides your Visa bill, just in time for the holidays. My advice: get healthier, visit the doctor and relish the gravy in moderation.
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