If your usual blood pressure (BP) is 130/80 mm Hg and quite comfortable with it, beware!
New Definition of High Blood Pressure
The new definition of High Blood Pressure now considers 130/80 mm Hg as Stage 1 Hypertensive! That is per new guidelines released by the American Heart Association.
The new threshold or borderline is now set to 120/80 mm Hg (Systolic/Diastolic).
To stay in the normal range, one should have systolic of below 120 and diastolic below 80. For instance, it would be ideal to maintain a BP of 110/70 mm Hg.
Below is your reference chart:
Why Monitor High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure is a silent killer.
Some people who are hypertensive experiences symptoms like headache, nausea and pains in the back of the neck. However, some do not experience symptoms especially those who are at stage 1.
High blood pressure when left untreated can damage your circulatory system. It can damage your heart. It can result in many health issues. Here are some of them.
1. Heart Attack – It can damage the arteries, thereby prevent normal blood flow to heart muscle tissues, thus result in heart attack.
2. Stroke – blood vessels in the brain can burst or clog.
3. Heart Failure – high blood pressure can exhaust the heart causing it to become enlarged, thus fail to supply blood to the body
4. Damage blood vessels in the eyes
5. Sexual dysfunction in men and women
6. It can lead to artherosclerosis, a narrowing of arteries in legs, arms, stomach and head causing pain and fatigue.
When to Take Maintenance Drugs for BP?
What does this new definition mean to you? Do you need to take maintenance drugs to achieve the ideal BP?
The good news is that people newly defined as hypertensive because they have a systolic blood pressure between 130-139 mm Hg or a diastolic blood pressure between 80-89 mm Hg do not need to take drugs. Adults in this range who have low cardiovascular risk and less than 65 years of age are advised to be treated with lifestyle changes.
Those at risk from cardiovascular disease and are 65 years old or over are the ones advised to take drugs to maintain the ideal BP.