The American Heart Association released a major update regarding new blood pressure guidelines and under the changes, more Americans are considered to have high blood pressure.
High blood pressure accounts for the second largest number of preventable heart disease and stroke deaths, second only to smoking.
"Millions of more people hopefully will have increased awareness about their blood pressure and maybe pay more attention to low salt diet, to diet, to exercise, to weight loss... it doesn't necessarily mean medication right off the bat", Mookherjee said.
The guidelines were presented at the heart association's annual Scientific Sessions in Anaheim, Calif.
Harlan Krumholz, a cardiologist at Yale University, said the new definition will radically change how primary care doctors interact with their patients.
The AHA hopes that the new guidelines won't mean more people will use medication, so much as the hope more people will make the lifestyle changes necessary to address hypertension.
Under the new guidelines published Monday, 46 percent of Americans now have hypertension compared to 32 percent under the former definition.
"The prevalence of high blood pressure is expected to triple among men under age 45, and double among women under 45", according to the report. "Saying, 'Hey maybe you should get a blood pressure cuff at home and start monitoring that blood pressure and bring in those numbers for us to review together at your next visit'".
Almost half of all Americans have high blood pressure according to new guidelines, with cardiologists saying Tuesday it offers an opportunity to promote better health.
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.
High blood pressure is caused when the force of blood pushing against vessel walls is too high.
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