It’s time to rethink high blood pressure. “This is a very good thing. I think that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” New guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have lowered the threshold for high blood pressure. Down from 140 over 90…now a reading of 130 over 80 is considered stage 1 hypertension. The change was made to help treat patients earlier, says MU Health Care cardiologist Brian Bostick. “What it’s going to do is then it’s going
to give them better access to treatments, therapies, and just knowledge and
awareness of having high blood pressure, so that we can prevent heart disease and
stroke.” “Even if you don’t have hypertension, someone in your family does.” Dr. Keith Ferdinand is a national leader in the field, who reviewed the new guidelines and spoke to MU doctors and students about how to use them. “The guideline is not just take drugs, it’s assess your risk, and if it’s low, change your lifestyle to prevent, and if your risk is high, then you may need pharmacal
therapy or drug therapy.” Dr. Bostick says treatment could simply mean more time on the exercise bike. “We’re still prescribing the same medications that you were on before, we’re just recognizing a lot more and trying to do a lot more. There’s a big focus in these new guidelines on diet, lifestyle.” Helping patients take small steps to lower their blood pressure sooner. For University of Missouri Health Care, I’m Megan Noe.