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What do the New Blood Pressure Guidelines Mean? Dr. Ghosheh Explains
High blood pressure is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks, strokes, aortic aneurysms and many others. When your cardiologist or primary care doctor checks your blood pressure, they compare it with the normal range set by the guidelines published by the American Heart Association.
The guidelines recently changed and what was considered normal for many is now considered elevated. Anyone with blood pressure higher than 130/80 will be considered to have hypertension, or high blood pressure. That does not always mean that you need to start taking medications.
Changing your lifestyle is always the first step in treatment, and that includes exercise, cutting down on salt intake and stopping smoking. We encourage you to take charge of your heart health and work with your primary care doctor or cardiologist to manage your blood pressure.
Dr. Yazan Ghosheh is an interventional cardiologist with CHI St. Vincent Heart Institute. He sees patients for heart disease diagnosis, ongoing heart health management as well as complex interventions and procedures. CHI St. Vincent Heart Institute has more than 30 locations across the state, providing Arkansas residents with better access to quality cardiology care, no matter where they live.
Three Things You Can Do About Your Blood Pressure
- Know what your blood pressure is. Schedule a visit with your primary care doctor to talk about your blood pressure, how often it should be measured, if it is in a normal range. If you don't have a primary care doctor, learn how to select a CHI St. Vincent primary care doctor.
- Watch what you eat. Diet can impact your blood pressure in many ways. Our Well-Fed Me eNewsletter provides lifestyle tips and delicious recipes to help you achieve your health goals.
Even an increase in steps can be a way to improve your heart health. Learn how one patient improved his health and heart with exercise.