New numbers may indicate if your have high blood pressure

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A report published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggest that people over the age of sixty can have a higher blood pressure than previously recommended before starting treatment to lower it.

Lee Wicker has hypertension, she was diagnosed in 1986. When her blood pressure is high it is about 145 over 90. But, new guidelines now suggest that perhaps it isn't high after all.

"So, does that mean I can get off medication?" Said Wicker.hypertension

Some medical professionals aren't happy about these changes, because, it affects treatment goals in place more than thirty years, and may affect people like wicker.

Bob Schlissler, R.N. is in management at the Pines of Sarasota. He sees many patients with hypertension. "These new studies are showing that blood pressure that was once considered to be the best way to go was not necessarily the best way to go anymore." He said.

Old guidelines for hypertension were 140 over 90, according to the report suggested treatment for hypertension in those over age sixty would now start with a goal of less than 150 over 90. "The upper number which is the systolic has to do with contraction of the heart, the pressure as the heart is compressing and pushing the blood out into the system." Schlissler explained and he said, "Lifestyle may be reason for these new guidelines. People are more stressed out today which adds to hypertension."

This is what the new numbers suggest said Schlissler. "People can tolerate a higher systolic number of 150 over 90 as opposed to 140 over ninety without any adverse affects."

He is concerned that people may pay less attention to what they eat and he doesn't want patients to see the report and feel they no longer need to continue taking their medications or change their eating habits.

Schlissler said the best way still to combat high blood pressure is through diet and exercise, minimize your salt intake and alcohol, eat low fat foods and don't smoke.

He cautioned that patients should talk to their primary care physicians before making any changes or adjustments to their medications or treatments.

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