THURSDAY, April 29, 2021 (HealthDay News) – If healthy lifestyle changes do not slightly reduce a patient’s high blood pressure within six months, then doctors should consider prescribing medication, advises a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association.
The recommendation is for people with untreated stage 1 hypertension (130-139 / 80-89 mm Hg) who have a low risk of heart attack or stroke within 10 years. Low risk means less than 10%.
The statement updates the 2017 American College of Cardiology / American Heart Association blood pressure management guidelines, which suggested that these people first make changes to their healthy lifestyle and then check their blood pressure again. in six months.
The new guidelines apply to nearly 10% of American adults with high blood pressure.
“There are no treatment recommendations in [the 2017] guidelines for patients who have a relatively low short-term risk of heart disease when blood pressure does not drop below 130 mm Hg after six months of recommended lifestyle changes, ”said editorial group chairman of the press release, Dr. Daniel Jones, in an AHA press release.
“This statement fills that gap,” noted Jones, professor and dean emeritus of the University of Mississippi School of Medicine and past president of the cardiac association.
Many people with stage 1 hypertension are adults under the age of 40.
“We know that people with blood pressure below 130/80 mm Hg have fewer markers of cardiovascular risk such as elevated coronary calcium, an enlarged heart or a build-up of fatty deposits called atherosclerosis in the arteries of the neck. There is strong evidence that treating high blood pressure saves lives by reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke, Jones said.
Healthy lifestyle changes to lower blood pressure include weight loss / control, regular exercise, limiting salt intake, increasing potassium intake, non-smoking, and limitation of alcohol consumption. It is also recommended to follow the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. It is a diet rich in fruits and vegetables combined with dairy products low in fat and low in saturated fat and total fat.
It is also important that patients “regularly check their blood pressure to monitor progress.” If they don’t achieve an average daily systolic blood pressure below 130mm Hg, it’s probably time to start a conversation with their doctor about the next practical steps. include adding medication, to manage their blood pressure, ”Jones said.
The statement was published on April 29 in the newspaper Hypertension. He also said that in young adults who started taking antihypertensive drugs in childhood, doctors should consider the initial indication to start treatment (usually to prevent organ damage from long-term high blood pressure. ) to assess the need for continued treatment and lifestyle. changes.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in the United States is focusing more on high blood pressure.
SOURCE: American Heart Association, press release, April 29, 2021