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~Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness & Health e-Zine
The American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and nine other heart health groups now agree that you have high blood pressure if your blood pressure is above 130/80, not 140/90 as the previous guidelines recommended (American Heart Association's annual meeting, November 13, 2017). This means that 46 percent of North American adults now have high blood pressure which means that they are at increased risk for heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and premature death. The new guidelines will triple the number of men under 45 years of age with high blood pressure, and double the number of women under 45 with high blood pressure. Another 40 percent of the population will develop high blood pressure as they grow older.
The blockbuster SPRINT study of almost 10,000 people showed that blood pressures above 130 increase risk for death (N Engl J Med, Nov 26, 2015;373:2103-2116). High blood pressure causes heart attacks, strokes, and kidney disease and puts you at increased risk for developing dementia in later life. High blood pressure is intimately associated with high blood sugar levels after meals, and high blood pressure is one of the criteria for diagnosing diabetes.