Health knowledge is always changing, so yesterday you did not have high blood pressure (HBP) but when you visit the Doc tomorrow you will be diagnosed with HBP. It is estimated that 14% more Americans will have the HBP label but only 1.9% will need medication.   The prevailing thought on lowering the ‘numbers’ and changing the terms is based on the fact that only 50% of those diagnosed with previous numbers – 140/90 ever reached that value. Furthermore, the term ‘pre-hypertension is now simply ‘elevated blood pressure’. It is defined as a blood pressure of 120-129/80 or less.

Term              Value

                          Stage I           130-139/80-89

                         Stage II         140-159/90-99

More than the absolute ‘number’ go into the label HBP. Your lipid profile, weight, age, family history, post-menopausal to name a few. If you do not want to be one of the 31 million Americans that need to meet new goals get proactive. Lifestyle is the mainstay, lose weight exercise (30 min. 3x/wk.), decrease salt and fat in your diet.