MEDFORD, Ore. -- You may have hypertension today, even if your blood pressure was perfectly normal yesterday.
Eleven health organizations published new guidelines today. They lower the threshold for what is considered high blood pressure.
The parameters indicate patients should now be treated when blood pressure reaches 130 over 80. Those numbers used to be considered normal. Treatment was not previously indicated until blood pressure reached 140 over 90.
Under the new guidelines, 103 million Americans, or 46 percent of the population, have hypertension. That's 31 million more Americans than under the old definition.
According to the report, most of the newly diagnosed patients will not need medication. They can manage their blood pressure through lifestyle changes.