Blood pressure guidelines changing

(NBC News) The number of Americans with high blood pressure is about to rise from about a third of U.S. adults to nearly half.

Heart disease experts have released new guidelines for treating hypertension and have lowered the target for high blood pressure from 140 over 90, to 130 over 80.

Two heart disease prevention powerhouses, the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology, issued the new guidelines.

Some patients will need an additional pill to lower their blood pressure further, but the majority will be prescribed lifestyle changes.

“If we really could focus on the lifestyles, the weight loss, the exercise, really watching the diet, that makes a big difference in keeping the blood pressure lower,” said Dr. Angela L. Brown of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

The guidelines also suggest cutting back on salty foods and increasing intake of potassium-rich fruits and veggies, like sweet potatoes, butternut squash and spinach.

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