This morning I had one of those interesting events where I read about something and the next person I speak to brings up the same topic. Was someone peeking over my shoulder? Most likely not. However, when these things occur, I think it’s positive reinforcement for what I’d just read or thought about.
So, what did I read? An article in the New York Times with this title: Under New Guidelines, Millions More Americans Will Need to Lower Blood Pressure . According to this article, under the guidelines formulated by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, the number of adults with high blood pressure will rise from 72 million to 103 million. And what are these new guidelines? 130/80 is now considered high, down from 140/90. Just FYI, the top number, systolic pressure, represents the pressure on blood vessels when the heart contracts; the bottom number, diastolic pressure, is the pressure as the heart relaxes between beats.
As we all know, high blood pressure is an indicator of cardiovascular disease, which can increase your risk of getting a stroke or heart attack. These new guidelines will lead doctors to prescribe medications to those people who fall within the old 140/90 guidelines. In a study called Sprint, undertaken in 2015, researchers assigned one group of people over 65 to get their blood pressure down to 140 and another group to get theirs down to 120. The latter group was given three drugs instead of two. At the end of the study, the latter group had decreased their incidence of heart attacks by one-third and death by one-quarter. They also had no more side effects than the first group. So far so good. However, although the latter group enjoyed better cardiovascular health, acute kidney disease had doubled because of the increased drug intake.
As a health coach, I am a firm believer in keeping numbers within the guidelines. This can be done through making lifestyle changes – better nutrition, regular exercise and proper stress management. By the way, another article written by a doctor in response to the one mentioned here, speaks of blood pressure being a variable measurement depending on where you are and what you are doing. Most doctors don’t take that into consideration.
So, bottom line, the solution is to take control of your health. If you don’t feel capable of doing it on your own, you may need a coach to help you. Just fill in the information in the form below, and I will get back to you. The consultation is free, and you are under no obligation.
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