These new health guidelines mean you could have high blood pressure now

In recent health-related news, the American Heart Association has issued new health guidelines for high blood pressure that set a lower pressure goal — meaning that significantly more American adults technically have high blood pressure (also known as hypertension).

The guidelines were published in the scientific journal Hypertension, and they outline the most effective practices for “prevention, detection, evaluation and management” of high blood pressure in adults. This is important to know because having high blood pressure can increase your risk of heart attacks and strokes, among other potential health problems.

The new standard for hypertension has move from 140/90 mm Hg to 130/80 mm Hg.

“Mm HG” refers to millimeters of mercury, which is the unit by which blood pressure is measured. If you now happen to be classified as a person with high blood pressure, fear not! There are many things you can do.

Eating healthfully (and avoiding salt) and exercising regularly are the first steps you can take. And if you still exhibit signs of high blood pleasure, there are also prescription medications that can help (though most experts agree that diet and exercise should be sufficient when in the early stages of high blood pressure).

"We want to be straight with people," Paul Whelton, Professor of Global Public Health at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, shared with USA Today. "If you already have a doubling of risk, you need to know about it. It doesn’t mean you need medication, but it’s a yellow light that you need to be lowering your blood pressure."

via giphy

Something that we can all do today is listen to what our bodies are telling us.

If you’re at all worried about your blood pressure under these new guidelines, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Arm yourself with information about your body and health!