LANSING, Mich. – The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association recently redefined high blood pressure, raising the amount of Michigan residents considered to have high blood pressure by more than 1 million.
The new guidelines define high blood pressure as being a reading beginning at 130 systolic over 80 diastolic. 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,” Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director Nick Lyon said. “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, 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.
Doctors said understanding blood pressure numbers is the key to controlling hypertension and is important to reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Efforts are being put in place to prevent heart disease and stroke across Michigan and the U.S.
The Million Hearts is a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes in the next five years. MDHHS is also working to create a heart-healthy and stroke-free Michigan through the Michigan Million Hearts initiative and 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.
MDHSS officials remind residents it is important to consider that there is a link between stress and high blood pressure, as stress is known to contribute to unhealthy risk behaviors, such as consuming too much alcohol and poor diet.