Published on July 17, 2018

Is your blood pressure too high?

Learn about the new definition of high blood pressure

Nurse taking BPYou may have heard about a big change in how high blood pressure is diagnosed, and it could affect you or someone you love.

“High blood pressure now starts at a lower number than before,” says Richard H. Hunn, MD, a cardiologist with Mercy Cardiology. “So some people who didn’t have high blood pressure in the past could have it now.”

It’s important to know what your blood pressure is because high blood pressure can be dangerous to your health—especially if it’s not treated and controlled. “In time, it can raise your risk for many serious conditions, including heart attacks, strokes and kidney disease,” says David J. Addley, DO, FACC, a cardiologist at Mercy Cardiology at Mercy Philadelphia.

New blood pressure categories from the American Heart Association

BP chart

If your blood pressure is not where it should be, ask your doctor how you can improve it by adopting healthy habits, taking medicines or doing both.