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Future Health

New Blood Pressure Guidelines

November 20, 2017 

You can probably remember getting your blood pressure taken, but do you know what it means? Or how to read it?


The first number, when reading blood pressure, is called systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats. The second, called diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart rests between beats.


Previously, the blood pressure guidelines had roughly 32% of the U.S. population had high blood pressure. Now, with the new regulations, they have eliminated prehypertension and about 46% of the population will have high blood pressure.


These new guidelines are based on years of studies done by the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and many other health organizations.


While high blood pressure may not sound or seem like a serious diagnosis, it can lead to damaged blood vessels and organ damage such as hear tor kidney failure.


Previous guidelines:

  • Pre-hypertension: 120-139 over 80-89
  • Stage 1: 140 over 90


Here are the new guidelines:

  • Normal: Less than 120/80 mm Hg;
  • Elevated: Systolic between 120-129 and diastolic less than 80;
  • Stage 1: Systolic between 130-139 or diastolic between 80-89;
  • Stage 2: Systolic at least 140 or diastolic at least 90 mm Hg;



This doesn’t mean that doctors will be prescribing mediation right away. Instead, they are recommending people with stage 1 hypertension try lifestyle changes such as exercising, reducing salt intake, eating healthier foods before medical treatment. As always recommended: Eating healthy and regular exercise can make a world of difference.