New guidelines classify more Americans as having high blood pressure

(AP File Photo/Toby Talbot)
(AP File Photo/Toby Talbot)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — More than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure — and a lot of those people thought they were healthy just a few days ago.

That is because the American Heart Association released new guidelines for what normal and healthy blood pressures should be.  Doctor Robert Wozniak, the Medical Director of Heart and Vascular at Saint David’s North Austin Medical Center joins us to give perspective on what this means.

The new guidelines say high blood pressure should be treated when a blood pressure test gives a result of 130/80. A few days ago, the limit was 140/90. This new guideline was developed after years of study by the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and nine other health professional organizations.

Prior to the new guidelines, one in three Americans was classified as having high blood pressure. Now, 14 percent more will be diagnosed, which means 103 million Americans will have high blood pressure instead of 72 million previously.

Dr. Wozniak explains what steps you should take if you find yourself as one of the 103 million.

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