New Guidelines Lower the Bar for Risky Blood Pressure
Nearly Half of U.S. Adults Now Have High Numbers
New guidelines that change the criteria for healthy blood pressure mean that nearly half of U.S. adults are now considered to have high blood pressure. The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have redefined the condition as being 130/80 instead of 140/90, a change considered by critics as overly beneficial to pharmaceutical companies. This criteria includes 80 percent of people over 65, triples the diagnosis for men under 45 and doubles it for women younger than 45.
The revised guidelines encourage adopting lifestyle strategies in early stages of rising blood pressure like exercise, diet, weight loss and smoking cessation. Evidence-based alternative methods noted in a Canadian study include coenzyme Q10, dark chocolate, qigong, slow breathing, Transcendental Meditation and vitamin D.