AHA releases new blood pressure guidelines - WNEM TV 5

AHA releases new blood pressure guidelines

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

The nation's medical professionals are changing the guidelines for what they call healthy blood pressure.

That could mean millions more Americans suffer from hypertension than previously realized.

"It wasn't until later on when I realized how important it was to keep that under control," said Diane Raths, hypertension patient.

Raths was diagnosed with high blood pressure 20 years ago. She said she had to make some lifestyle changes in order to keep her blood pressure stable.

"I do watch my salt intake. I try to buy sodium free products when I can," Raths said.

She may be changing her health regiment even more now, thanks to new blood pressure guidelines from the American Heart Association.

AHA just announced physicians should start treating people who have a blood pressure higher than 130 over 80. In previous recommendations that number was 140 over 90.

"They're now suggesting that we really start early in terms of potential treatment," said Dr. Loai Marouf, cardiologist at Covenant Hospital in Saginaw.

Marouf said doctors will be more strict on their patients when it comes to blood pressure due to the new guidelines.

For some heart specialists, the new guidelines will impact the type of health care doctors recommend for patients.

"It's going to change our regiment because now we are going to be looking at blood pressure under even more scrutiny than we did before," Marouf said.

Marouf said if you are worried about your blood pressure, you should see your doctor once a year for a physical.

If you already have high blood pressure like Raths, it is important to check in with your doctor to see if the guidelines impact your treatment.

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