130/80 = High Blood Pressure
For the first time since 2003, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have produced a substantial report updating blood pressure recommendations. People with a reading of 130/80 are now classified as having high blood pressure. This is down from 140/90.
According to the ACC, this means 46% of U.S. adults will now be categorized as having hypertension.
Those in the “hypertensive crisis” category require medication intervention and immediate hospitalization if there is organ damage, according to the report.
Its lead author, Paul K. Welton, MB, MD, MCs, FACC, says, “[If you’re blood pressure has reached 130/80,] you’ve already doubled your risk of cardiovascular complications compared to those with a normal level of blood pressure. We want to be straight with people—if you already have a doubling of risk, you need to know about it. It doesn’t mean you need medication, but it’s a yellow light that you need to be lowering your blood pressure, mainly with non-drug approaches.”
The ACC and the AHA worked with nine other organizations to arrive at the guidelines, which 21 scientists wrote after combing through 900 published studies. The full 195-page report was published in The American Journal of Cardiology (2017; doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2017.11.006).