WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Doctors and experts from the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and nine other groups have lowered threshold for high blood pressure from 140/90 to 130/80.
According to Dr. Lon Morgan, a physician at Novant Health Friedberg Family Medicine, says “at a first glance, that would be very troublesome,” but explains that under these new guidelines, “we’re starting to look at hypertension the way we’ve been looking at diabetes for years in terms of what is pre-diabetes.”
He adds that it is important for people to get a good blood pressure taken with a physician.
“Blood pressures are not always taken appropriately,” Morgan says, identifying the cuff-less arm monitors used in pharmacies and over-the-counter wrist blood pressure monitors are not accurate.
Morgan says the most important thing of all is for people at risk or not to stay healthy in order to avoid cardiovascular problems.
“The most important thing is for people to see a healthcare provider routinely,” Morgan added. “Hypertension is a silent disease,” meaning there are no real indicators or symptoms that can alert people of hypertension.
Morgan encourages people with healthcare to take advatange of the one free wellness visit available to them a year. For those without insurance, he invites people to use resources available in the community.
“Novant Health does a lot of community screenings, a lot of other organizations provide community screenings, and, if all else fails, your local fire department can do a blood pressure for you, so there are plenty of ways to get that looked at,” Morgan said.