Almost half of Americans have high blood pressure, new guidelines say

Almost half of Americans have high blood pressure, new guidelines say

Almost half of Americans have high blood pressure, new guidelines say

Experts from the American College of Cardiology (ACC), the American Heart Association (AHA) and nine other health professional organizations released new guidelines Monday for treating high blood pressure earlier with lifestyle changes or, in some patients, medication.

The global hypertension drug market is already expected to climb to $32 billion by the end of 2020, according to analysts at Technavio, but now with the new guidelines for blood pressure set in place by the American Heart Association earlier this week, that market could rise even more as additional Americans may need medication.

The challenge with the previous guideline is a patient with a reading of 135 over 85 may not have been treated for high blood pressure, Gandhi said.

High blood pressure accounts for the second-largest number of preventable heart disease and stroke deaths in the United States, second only to smoking. Normal blood pressure is considered to be 120 over 80.

Previously, the AHA said 32 percent of adults in the US had high blood pressure (hypertension) but with the new guidelines, about 46 percent have hypertension.

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Gandhi recommends that people who are at risk of high blood pressure buy a quality blood pressure cuff that wraps around their arms and to become comfortable taking their own blood pressure readings from time to time and reporting them to their doctor. Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg; elevated is systolic between 120-129 and diastolic less than 80; Stage I is systolic between 130-139 or diastolic between 80-89; and Stage II is systolic at least 140 or diastolic at least 90 mm Hg.

Now 46 percent of USA adults will have high blood pressure.

Dr. Shearer says changing the guidelines gives you a chance to make lifestyle changes like eating healthier and exercising regularly before it's too late.

FOX Business reached out to some of the top pharma companies named above but did not immediately receive a comment on how the new guidelines could potentially impact sales going forward. "The days are pretty much over when doctors could walk into the office and tell people what to do, write a prescription and expect them to comply", he said on Twitter Tuesday.

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