The new guidelines will result in almost half of USA adults having high blood pressure, or hypertension - but, there will only be a small increase in those prescribed medication. "And for those patients that are at highest risk, those that have had a cardiovascular event in the past, stroke or heart attack, or have diabetes, those are the kind of people we're going to be adding medication for it to bring their blood pressures down", Farrell said.
Almost half of the U.S adult population is now considered to have high blood pressure.
"I think this will encourage both patients to adhere to recommendations but also clinicians to be more vigorous in their attempts to prescribe lifestyle changes", said Dr. Pamela Morris, chair of the ACC's committee on prevention of cardiovascular disease.
This comes after the American Heart Association redefined guidelines for the first time in almost a decade.
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By lowering the threshold, the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology hope to spur earlier intervention, to prevent further increases in blood pressure, and the complications that come with it.
Doctors now recognize that complications "can occur at those lower numbers", said the first update to comprehensive USA guidelines on blood pressure detection and treatment since 2003.
Today, millions of Americans who didn't have high blood pressure before have it now.
Under the new guidelines normal blood pressure will be considered anything less than 120 over 80.
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Millions more Americans will be classified as having high blood pressure, but this doesn't necessarily mean more people will be put on medication.
High blood pressure can mean serious problems with your heart.
The new guidelines indicate that 46 percent of American adults suffer from hypertension a huge increase from the 32 percent measured by the old standards. But only a small percentage of those patients will be prescribed anti-hypertensive medication, the association said.
More guidance for how people should manage their blood pressure, focusing on lifestyle improvements. "According to what the guidelines say go a head and use what we call lifestyle modification", said Dr. Gordon.
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