The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have jointly reset the definition of hypertension by lowering the threshold to 130/80 (from the previous value of 140/90).
This automatically created 38 new hypertensives in the U.S., but this was a change that was years in the making. The initial "therapy" is intended to be lifestyle changes rather than beginning with medications. There are 6 goals to strive for; weight loss, following a low sodium diet (DASH diet), reducing sodium, enhancing potassium, 90-150 min/week of physical activity and moderate alcohol intake.
These recommendations were put forth by Dr. Paul Whelton, chair of the guidelines task force and professor of global health at Tulane University. Obviously if the lifestyle goals cannot successfully reduce the BP levels then medications are recommended. No particular order of medication type was suggested and is being left to the discretion of the individual physician.
We would like to remind our readers and patients that prevention is key! Here at Fanwood-Westfield Cardiology, Dr. Kalischer and his knowledgeable staff have all the necessary technology, experience and equipment to accurately conduct blood pressure evaluations for all age groups. Make an appointment today!