New Number for High Blood Pressure

On Monday, November 13, The American Heart Associaton labeled high blood pressure as being 130 over 80 versus the old standard of 140 over 90.
According to a local physician, this does not necessarily mean there will be an influx of new patients.
“I think it will certainly affect more people but it is going to be the same patients that I already have been having conversations with anyway regarding their risk factors,” said Anita Stewart, Health Officer, and Physician.
Dr. Stewart believes catching high blood pressure earlier may just help convince patients to consider lifestyle interventions.
“The top number or your systolic blood pressure, that’s considered stage one or pre-hypertension, is what we used to call it. So your already starting to have those conversations, your starting to talk about lifestyle interventions and modifications to encourage exercise, healthy diet, and weight reduction. Risk factor modifications to help reduce their need for any medication or treatment in the future”, said Dr. Stewart.
The study also advocates for you to check your blood pressure at home but there are a couple rules of thumb you may want to remember if you are doing this.
“I think there are some caveats to that, you have to sit for five minutes with your feet flat on the floor. I think sometimes checking blood pressure for some patients is anxiety provoking which can cause your blood pressure to go up. So I think that is a conversation to have with your provider to make sure you are doing it properly and to make sure you are getting accurate readings”, said Anita Stewart.
No matter what is considered high blood pressure, being pro-active in combating it is always the best solution.

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