TOTAL POUNDS LOST = 41,166
The New Blood Pressure Guidelines: The Lower the Better?
Have you heard that you may now have hypertension? The American College of Cardiology / American Heart Association releaesed an updated guideline which lowers the threshold for diagnosing hypertension and emphasizes lifestyle interventions in the treatment of hypertension, which is what we have always been all about at Rainier Medical. In a nutshell, the guideline defines hypertension as follows:
- a normal blood pressure is under 120/80
- Stage 1 hypertension is 130 to 139/ 80 to 89
- Stage 2 hypertension is 140/90 or higher.
The guideline recommends treatment as follows:
- Stage 1 hypertension with no other cardiovascular disease risk factors: lifestyle intervention including weight loss if there is excess weight a well as structured exercise plan
- Stage 1 hypertenstion with elevated cardiovascular disease risk factors: pharmacotherapy PLUS lifestyle intervention including weight loss if there is excess weight a well as structured exercise plan
- Stage 2 hypertension: pharmacotherapy PLUS lifestyle intervention including weight loss if there is excess weight a well as structured exercise plan
The guideline also emphasizes measurement of blood pressure at home and not just in the clinical setting, in order to differentiate white coat hypertension and masked hypertension. Masked hypertension is when your blood pressure fluctuates so there may be one reading that is lower than it is at other times. Some common causes of this are sleep apnea, stress, dietary changes, and alcohol intake. It is the total blood pressure burden as well that determines clinical outcome. Some interesting facts:
- 10% of people with hyertension have "secondary hypertension" which means it is caused by something else
- cardiovascular risk DOUBLES when your blood pressure increases from 120/80 to 139/89
- elevated blood pressure decreases about 1 mm Hg for every 1 excess pound lost.
At Rainier Medical, the goals of our treatment plans are optimal blood pressure, blood sugar, blood lipids, body composition, physical fitness, and quality of nutrition. We emphasize comprehensive programs including nutrition, behavior, exericse, and optimal pharmacotherapy when indicated with the best risk/benefit ratio determined by our Internal Medicine Physician. Our strucutred exercise programs will be enhanced this summer/fall with the opening of Rainier Medical Health & Fitness which is a training studio with exercise physiologist and certified personal trainers and state of the art strength and conditioning equipment, fitness testing, and heart rate monitoring technology. Stay tuned and measure your blood pressure!