The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association redefined high blood pressure as being a reading beginning at 130/80. This is a decrease from the previous definition for high blood pressure of 140 systolic over 90 diastolic.
“The new guidelines highlight the importance of primary prevention and lifestyle changes related to nutrition, physical activity, smoking and other risk factors,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon. “Identifying and controlling high blood pressure early on helps prevent serious and costly complications later in life, resulting in improved quality of life for all Michiganders.”
More than 30 million more U.S. adults will be considered to have high blood pressure. Hypertension is the leading cause of heart disease and stroke. Under the new guidelines, more than 100 million people may now be classified as having high blood pressure.
The only way for people to know if they have hypertension is to have their blood pressure checked and be told by their doctor that they have hypertension. Understanding blood pressure numbers is key to controlling hypertension and is important to reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Across Michigan and the U.S., efforts are being put in place to prevent heart disease and stroke.
The Million Hearts® 2022 is a national initiative co-led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes in the next 5 years. MDHHS is also working to create a heart-healthy and stroke-free Michigan through the Michigan Million Hearts® initiative and working to have the state’s residents increase physical activity and healthy eating and decrease smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. Visit www.michigan.gov/millionhearts for more information.
During the holiday season it is important to consider that there is a link between stress and high blood pressure. Stress is known to contribute to unhealthy risk behaviors, such as too much alcohol and poor diet.
For more information and free resources about preventing heart disease and stroke, visit www.michigan.gov/cvh. To recognize the signs of a stroke, think FAST: Face, Arm, Speech, and Time. For more information about strokes, go to www.michigan.gov/stroke.