Your blood pressure may now be considered high

PEORIA, Il. - For the first time in 14 years the American Heart Association has changed the definition of what high blood pressure means.

Under new guidelines a reading of 130 or more or a bottom reading of 80 or more is considered hypertension.

The impact of the new guidelines is expected to be greatest among people ages 18 to 45. Dr. Darrel Gumm, Interventional Cardiologist for the OSF Healthcare Cardiovascular Institute says, you should start yearly checkups with your physician as early as 18 years old.

“You may even discover that your doctor is going to tell you, 'You know what? Congratulations. You don't have high blood pressure, you don't have high cholesterol, but you're living a lifestyle that's going to lead there.' Let's prevent the preventable," said Gumm.

Even though 14 percent more people will be diagnosed with high blood pressure only a small portion will take home prescriptions.

The guidelines say blood pressure levels should be based on two or three readings at least two different times. It's recommended you learn the proper techniques for checking your blood pressure at home.

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