In 2017, the American Heart Association changed its guidelines for high blood pressure and heart health. Under these new guidelines, if you 120-129 systolic blood pressure, it’s now labelled as elevated blood pressure. A reading of 130-139 systolic or 80-89 diastolic is now considered stage one hypertension.
What do these new guidelines mean? In general, they will impact a broader population. More people will now require monitoring their blood pressure levels, and will possibly be in need of medication. With this reclassification, about 1 in 3 US adults has high blood pressure.
And that can have a significant impact on you and the person you are providing care for.
With these new guidelines, that means more adults are considered at risk for developing serious heart problems. The earlier you start watching your blood pressure numbers, the sooner you can make lifestyle changes that can impact your life.
Before the revisions, it was recommended a person start testing their blood pressure frequently around their 50th birthdays. But with the stresses in our lives, testing earlier can only increase your chances of catching things early and making changes that will impact your life for the better.
High blood pressure is treatable. By making changes to your diet, your exercise levels, and your stress levels, you can keep your blood pressure in check. If you start to see numbers frequently rise above the 120/80 threshold, it’s time to see a doctor.
The American Heart Association also recommends that you don’t wait for a doctor’s visit to check your blood pressure. Instead, make it a regular habit and check your numbers yourself. Keep a running log of your numbers. Better yet, invest in technology and create a log via your favourite app.
Wearable technology can make checking your numbers a snap. Tools like QardioArm and Apple Watch enable you to take your readings anywhere easily, any time. And because it’s light and portable, you can easily tuck it into your bag or your suitcase.
In the near future, it might even be possible your Apple Watch will be your blood pressure monitor. Just touch the screen with your finger, and your numbers are detected.
All of this means better tracking for you and your loved one. And staying healthy means a better life for both of you.