According to new guidelines being published by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC), high blood pressure is now defined as readings of 130 mm Hg and higher for systolic blood pressure or 80 and higher for the diastolic measurement. As the first update to the U.S. guidelines for blood pressure detection and treatment since 2003, these new measurements are intended to encourage earlier detection, prevention and management of high blood pressure.
While estimates are that high blood pressure diagnoses will rise by 14%, the hope is that the vast majority will be counseled about lifestyle changes rather than receiving prescribed medication. Often referred to as the “silent killer” because there are no symptoms, high blood pressure accounts for the second largest number of preventable heart disease and stroke deaths, second only to smoking.
The death rate from heart disease rose 0.9% last year, per U.S. mortality data released by the CDC. Researchers link the increase to obesity and diabetes. Death rates from heart disease were declining due to anti-smoking campaigns and medications to control blood pressure and cholesterol. The findings signal a reversal of a trend that has been improving for decades.
Surviving A Heart Attack
Even though deaths from coronary heart disease have been cut by 75% in the past 4 decades, cardiovascular disease remains the leading killer of men and women in the U.S. And while there is much written about how to prevent a heart attack, the American College of Cardiology reports that knowing how to survive one is critical. Here are a few simple, but very important steps to remember… Continue reading
Health experts recommend that men over 40 talk to their doctor about taking aspirin to prevent heart disease. Aspirin therapy may be prescribed earlier for smokers or men who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes.
A checklist for men’s health screenings:
Blood pressure — at least every two years. Aim for a BP under 120/80.
Cholesterol — every five years starting at age 35. If heart disease runs in your family, talk to your doctor about earlier screening. Normal total cholesterol is under 200. Continue reading