New guidelines determining who is considered hypertensive has changed.
What did the values used to be?
Anything over 140/90 was considered hypertensive.
What is it now?
130/80. Which means an additional 14% of the US population (30 million people) now fall into the hypertensive group.
What percentage of Americans have hypertension with these new guidelines?
Does that mean more people need to be on medication?
No. Unless the patient is high risk, patients will be advised to improve their lifestyles (i.e. lose weight, eat healthy, exercise more, limit alcohol, avoid smoking) rather than jumping on medications to reduce it.
Where are these guidelines coming from?
The American Heart Association. Twenty-one experts sat on the committee that wrote the new guidelines and they were published in two journals — Hypertension and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The guidelines were announced by the American Heart Association last week. (via)