New guidelines recently released from the Joint National Committee proposed less restrictive BP targets for certain individuals. These include adults aged 60 years or older, as well as individuals with diabetes and chronic kidney disease.
The new 2014 guidelines have increased the blood pressure treatment goal from less than 140/90 to 150/90 for individuals aged 60 and older. For adults with chronic kidney disease and diabetes, the new blood pressure guidelines are 140/90. This is an increase from the previously recommended blood pressure guideline of 130/80.
Blood pressure is the force of blood against your artery wall as it circulates through your body. Hypertension (high blood pressure) typically has no warning signs or symptoms until the disease is advanced. It is estimated that 67 million American adults have high blood pressure – 1 in every 3 adults. Having hypertension greatly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, which are the first and third leading causes of death in the United States.
It is important to keep your blood pressure within the target range for optimal health, and to limit the risk of serious health complications. Measures you can take to maintain your blood pressure include keeping a healthy weight, limiting sodium (salt) intake, regular exercise, avoiding tobacco use and limiting alcohol consumption.
Dr. Anne Hermann is double board certified in internal medicine and as a physician nutrition specialist. Offices are maintained in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida. Please contact the office at (813) 902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.