Revised Guidelines For Diagnosis And Treatment Of High Blood Pressure

Date February 4, 2018

In November 2017, the American College of Cardiology, in conjunction with the American Heart Association, published updated recommendations on the diagnosis, treatment, risk assessment, and prevention of high blood pressure (hypertension). At present, about 50% of the population of the United States of America are hypertensive. According to numerous clinical studies, the new guidelines will allow more accurate identification of the disease at the initial stages, and thus predict the risks of serious complications.

Definition of the term

Blood pressure is the force applied to the vascular walls by the flow of blood. This indicator is one of the most important parameters of the functioning of the circulatory system and the human body as a whole. The first indicator (systolic pressure) shows the pressure in the arteries at the time of a contraction of the heart muscle. The second indicator (diastolic pressure) indicates the pressure in the vessels during the period of heart relaxation. Hypertension is a formidable predictor of various cardiovascular diseases.

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The causes of hypertension include a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, excessive consumption of salt, excessive body weight, diabetes, high levels of fast carbohydrates and saturated fats in the diet, alcohol abuse, and hereditary predisposition.

Modern classification of arterial hypertension

So, the following categories of blood pressure are distinguished today:

  1. Normal (less than 120/80 mm Hg).
  2. Increased (systolic pressure - 120-129 mm Hg; diastolic pressure- less than 80 mm Hg).
  3. Hypertension 1 degree (systolic pressure - in the range of 130-139 mm Hg; diastolic pressure - in the range of 80-89).
  4. Hypertension 2 degree (the systolic pressure index exceeds 140, or the diastolic pressure exceeds 90).
  5. Hypertensive crisis. The systolic pressure exceeds 180 mm Hg. The diastolic pressure is more than 120 mm Hg. This urgent condition requires an immediate change of medicine (in the absence of other symptoms) or urgent hospitalization (if there are any manifestations from the target organs: the heart, brain, eyes, kidneys).

The role of lifestyle modification

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The updated guidelines pay a lot of attention to non-pharmacological methods of lowering blood pressure. These methods include:

  • loss of body weight;
  • balanced diet;
  • reduction of salt intake;
  • increase in physical activity;
  • restriction of alcohol consumption.

Thus, the new protocols are aimed at the earlier detection of hypertension with a view to preventing the development of serious complications. However, the tactics of treating each patient should be strictly individual to achieve a stable remission of the disease.

This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not treat yourself, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.