Keeping people within U.S. blood pressure guidelines saves lives | Science News

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Keeping people within U.S. blood pressure guidelines saves lives

The benefits of taking medication for hypertension outweigh the risks of the drug’s side effects

By
7:00am, May 29, 2018
taking blood pressure

GO LOW  Researchers argue that getting U.S. adults to follow 2017 guidelines that lower blood pressure targets could prevent hundreds of thousands of heart attacks, strokes and deaths.

The first estimate of how many deaths and heart problems could be avoided under new blood pressure guidelines shows it’s well worth it for the U.S. population to get its blood pressure under control, researchers say.

The new guidelines, announced in 2017 by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, redefined hypertension as a blood pressure reading of 130/80 or higher (SN: 12/9/17, p.13). The previous threshold was 140/90.  As a result, 105 million U.S. adults age 20 and older are now considered to have hypertension, 31 million more than before.

An estimated 334,000 deaths could be prevented annually if those aged 40 and older keep their blood pressure below the new threshold, researchers report online May 23 in JAMA Cardiology. And

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