New high blood pressure guidelines

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SAN ANTONIO - More Americans may now be considered to have high blood pressure.

The American Heart Association has released new guidelines.

Important new guidelines set in part by the American Heart Association this week will now increase the number of Americans who have high blood pressure.

The new standard for high blood pressure is anything above 130 over 80.

The old standard was 140 over 90.

"We moved the goal post on you so what was once considered borderline blood pressure might be classified as high blood pressure under the new guide lines that were given to us."

Before Monday, there were 73-million people in the United States with high blood pressure.

Under the new guidelines that number is estimated to increase roughly 14%.

Dr. Stephen Ramirez has a family practice in Stone Oak.

"What does that mean, that means that for men under the age of 45 we're going to have three times greater amount of people who have high blood pressure, for a woman under the age of 45 that's going to be twice as many."

San Antonio already weighs in as one of the fattest cities in America and the fattest in Texas.

The extra weight leads to serious health problems like, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Dr. Ramirez says people with high risk factors should not be alarmed but he does suggest seeing your doctor.

"See if he or she thinks that you actually have high blood pressure and lastly if it's treatable or not."

He says risk can be minimized with diet and exercise.

"Less alcohol, less food, and more exercise and that's the place all doctors usually start."

There's more good news.

The new guidelines help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Doctors are also better equipped to fight hypertension, and more generic drugs on the market make managing symptoms more cost effective.

"So this isn't something we can't control this is just something we need the patient's help to control."

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