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The American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) released new guidelines in 2017 that lowers the definition of high blood pressure (BP). These guidelines were established to allow for earlier intervention with lifestyle changes and non-pharmaceutical approaches for treatment and prevention. The following are the new blood pressure ranges and categories for the adult:

Systolic Diastolic
• Normal less than 120 less than 80
• Elevated 120-129 less than 80
• High BP Stage I 130-139 80-89
• High BP Stage II 140 or higher 90 and higher
• Hypertensive Crisis higher than 180 higher than 120

Comments:

Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mmHg
High blood pressure is now 130/80 mmHg or higher
Stage I High BP will require a recommendation for positive lifestyle changes
Stage II High BP will likely involve the prescription for blood pressure medications along with positive lifestyle changes
Hypertensive crisis will require immediate medical attention

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