More people in Somerset County and across the country will be diagnosed with hypertension because of new guidelines issued by two leading organizations in cardiovascular medicine.
According to the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, 140 over 90 is no longer the threshold for high blood pressure. The new standard is a reading of 130 over 80. Now, about 46 percent of U.S. adults will be diagnosed as hypertensive. That figure used to be 32 percent of U.S. adults with high blood pressure.
Dr. Robert M. Carey, co-chairman of the commission that lowered the standard and professor of medicine and dean emeritus at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, said they lowered the standard because studies over the past 10 years have shown increased cardiovascular risk for people with blood pressure between 130 and 140.
“So we lowered the threshold for hypertension to that,” he said. “There are many people who fall into that blood pressure range who fall into that risk. We hope they can deal with it through lifestyle changes and some drug treatment.”