Five years of studies found that the ideal blood pressure for people over the age of 60 should be changed, and this could mean that more of you won’t need that medication you’ve been taking!
What is Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the force of blood against the wall of your arteries is written with two numbers. The top number measures the systolic pressure, which is when your heart is actually beating. The lower number is the diastolic pressure, which is measured when your heart is at rest. A normal reading should be somewhere around 120/80. High blood pressure puts a person at risk for heart disease, kidney diseases and strokes, so it’s important to have your blood pressure checked often. Until now, a reading of 140/90 was considered to be high.
The FDA says that nearly one in three adults in the US have hypertension.
The CDC says that heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women and about 600,000 people die each year because of it.
Every 34 seconds someone in the US dies of a heart attack.
New blood pressure guidelines may allow over 5 million American adults to reduce or discontinue their medication used to treat hypertension.
The percentage of adults taking blood pressure medications could fall from 41% to 32%.
The new guidelines raise the systolic blood pressure recommendation from 140 to 150 for people age 60 and over.
The recommended blood pressure for those under age 60 will remain 140/90 and lower.
Patients with diabetes and some other medical conditions will still be at a greater risk and may not be taken off their blood pressure medications.
Although this information is very interesting, let us be clear that only your physician should decide whether or not to reduce or discontinue a patient’s medication. High blood pressure is a serious condition that if left untreated could result in death. As always, we recommend regular exercise, a healthy diet full of nutritious fruits and vegetables and of course routine visits to your doctor.
Read more about how your mouth and heart are directly connected on our blog post, “Bacteria’s Role with Systemic Health”.