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Medicine United States

46% of Americans Now Have High Blood Pressure ( 295

"Millions more Americans will now be diagnosed with high blood pressure," reports NBC News, which describes the condition as "one of the leading killers around the world." Anyone with blood pressure higher than 130/80 will be considered to have hypertension, or high blood pressure, the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology said in releasing their new joint guidelines. "It's very clear that lower is better," said Dr. Paul Whelton of Tulane University, who chaired the committee that wrote the guidelines... 130/80 to 139/89 is now considered Stage 1 hypertension and anything 140/90 or above will be considered stage 2 hypertension...

"Rather than one in three U.S. adults having high blood pressure (32 percent) with the previous definition, the new guidelines will result in nearly half of the U.S. adult population (46 percent) having high blood pressure, or hypertension," the groups said in a joint statement... While people may be confused by the change, the heart experts said three years of reviewing the research showed that many fewer people die if high blood pressure is treated earlier. "We are comfortable with the recommendations. They are based on strong evidence," Whelton said.

Slashdot reader 140Mandak262Jamuna blames the pharmaceutical lobby, arguing that "a few years down the line, we all will be taking blood pressure medications," though Dr. Robert Carey of the University of Virginia, who helped write the guidelines, claims there will only be a 1.9% increase.

The new guidelines recommend that everyone watch their diet and exercise, and that people with stage 1 hypertension should also first try eating less salt, more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains before taking blood pressure medications.
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46% of Americans Now Have High Blood Pressure

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  • Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gojira Shipi-Taro ( 465802 ) on Sunday November 19, 2017 @01:17PM (#55581511) Homepage

    Millions more will be diagnosed now that the numbers have been adjusted to sell more prescriptions.

    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hey! ( 33014 ) on Sunday November 19, 2017 @02:18PM (#55581817) Homepage Journal

      Controlling mild hypertension with prescriptions is a choice. You *can* do it with lifestyle changes.

      I did it; I dropped my blood pressure from 128/86 to 105/60, without medication, through diet and exercise. It's not that hard, but the reason I succeeded where many like me fail is that as a geek measuring, tracking and evaluating data comes naturally to me. Measure everything; weigh your food, log it, analyze the results. If you try to obtain 100% of all your required nutrients without supplementation and within a wight maintenance level of calorie intake you're automatically forced to eat healthy.

      Eating healthy and exercise in moderation will turn most borderline cases of hypertension around, but it takes some discipline.

      Why did I bother? Becuase the consequences of hypertension really really suck. It's a disease with no symptoms but horrible complications. Think of all the things you consider as part of "aging" -- physical frailty, loss of memory and in some cases thinking ability. A lot of this isn't a result of the unavoidable genetics of aging; they're the result of things like heart attacks, strokes, and vascular dementia all of which are consequences of high blood pressure.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by MrLogic17 ( 233498 )

        Correction: mild hypertension can *sometimes* be controlled by choice. You make is sound like taking medication is for the dumb and lazy.

        Look at the studies for the affects of salt on blood pressure. Some people can drop their pressure 3 points with reduced salt - for others, it doesn't change anything. The latest studies actually say that there is *no* benefit to severe salt restriction!

        If you're fat, losing weight is always a good idea. I'm not. I'm actually borderline clinically under-weight. Losing

        • by hey! ( 33014 )

          I agree with most of what you're saying here. Notice also I qualified "hypertension": mild hypertension. And of course everyone's different. But a lot of the time people are less different than they think; they're just rationalizing their habits. People would rather think of themselves as special than as unsuccessful.

          The power of lifestyle change is greatly underestimated, because so many people find it difficult. Certainly if you can't control your borderline hypertension with lifestyle change you *s

        • Look at the studies for the affects of salt on blood pressure. Some people can drop their pressure 3 points with reduced salt - for others, it doesn't change anything.

          The funny part is, the studies show that there is a minority of patients where removing dietary salt has a 10+ point difference, and those are the only patients who improve outcomes by reducing salt.

          Reducing blood pressure by 3 points doesn't improve outcomes in the vast majority of patients; only patients who also have serious heart disease will have an improved outcome. If you have high blood pressure but don't have heart disease, your risk of death did not improve by lowering blood pressure 3 points; reg

      • Weighing food is the big thing in what you said; most people would never be willing to do that, even if you convinced them it is life-or-death. People have a deeply held belief that they can measure portions with their eyeballs, and that they know what a good, morally upstanding portion size looks like!

        • by hey! ( 33014 )

          People have a deeply held belief that they can measure portions with their eyeballs

          That's one of actually two important misconceptions. The other is that stomach fullness is reliable measure of how much you've eaten. Your belly only has three feedback settings: feed me now, you could eat a bit more, and if you eat more you're going to get sick.

          Recent research suggests that it's the amount of time you spend eating, and the amount of chewing you do that affects perceptions of how much you've eaten. I've confirmed this myself. Eating slower and chewing more definitely creates the subject

      • True life style choices can have great impact. It need not be due geek level measurement.

        Just give salt once in fifteen days. Drop one meal once in a few days. Stop snacking and munching junk food between meals. Food control is possible. Most of my aunts and uncles do this salt free diet, but the reason they give is strange, "Going salt free on shravanam days of the month will please Lord Shiva or Giving up the evening meal on Thursdays will get you brownie points for Shri Satya Sai Baba. The reasoning l

      • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by geekymachoman ( 1261484 ) on Sunday November 19, 2017 @09:45PM (#55584013)
        > I did it; I dropped my blood pressure from 128/86 to 105/60, without medication, through diet and exercise. It's not that hard, but the reason I succeeded where many like me fail is that as a geek measuring, tracking and evaluating data comes naturally to me.

        The reason most people 'fail' is because they don't see results immediately. They lack patience, discipline and proper motivation (eg. it's not "i want to be sexy" or "handsome"). I was like this, my GF is like this, I have couple of friends that mentioned it.. etc. It's hard to simulate physical labor and "enjoy" it, or at least.. stick with it as a lifestyle.
        Modern exercise is a simulation of real physical work which comes natural to us. Most people can do physical work, the work itself is a motivation and whatever the product of that work is... but when you take away that work (hence the product) and put a person on a treadmill, there is no natural goal anymore.. and health seems so abstract and far away that most people give up after an hour or so of running aimlessly ( so they feel ). And you have to plan for this, schedule it.. gym memberships etc. which adds to an extra headache.

        I for one *hate* gyms. I don't like sharing space with other people, sharing sweat especially. I don't like locker rooms, public showers etc. either. You will not see me in a gym.

        Point is. You don't need calculations, statistics and mathematics to stick with exercise. That might work for you, but I wouldn't agree it works for most people.
        What people need is a sense of accomplishment, and health + muscle mass etc. to be a CONSEQUENCE, and a side effect, not the main goal.
        If it's like this, and if people do physical labor for proper reasons, then the boredom, and lack of motivation sill not be an issue anymore.

        > Controlling mild hypertension with prescriptions is a choice. You *can* do it with lifestyle changes.

        This not being the common sense is what the problem is with modern society, especially western ones where this way of thinking seem to be prevalent.
        I'm sure if we manage to not kill ourselves, this will be one of the things mentioned in the history books as that retarded thing people from 2000s thought it's ok.
        Like we think that people 2000 years ago were stupid, ignorant, barbaric, etc... this is going down in history as one of the things stupid people of 21 century did.

        Stuff yourself with crap fake food full of chemicals that are not supposed to be there (preservatives, colorings, etc.) that, naturally, effect body chemistry as you're ingesting these, and then take more chemicals to try to fix the consequence of your bad diet and lack of physical movement... and then go about thinking it's actually normal to live like this.

        Good luck to you all.
    • by solitas ( 916005 )

      We were told, back then, to believe what numbers they said. Now we're told to believe these new numbers because they "know better" in these enlightened times.

      WHY didn't they know better back then to see that x-weight + x-diet + x-lifestyle killed x-people with >130/80 BP?

      It's all statistics, and simply counting heads never changes.

      • by satsuke ( 263225 )

        The recommendations probably had a measure of "what's achievable" vs "what's statistically the best" for the cost.

        e.g. People give up when given targets that are to high, so if a target of 140/90 reduces mortality and complications of HBP by 70%, but a target of 129/80 reduces by 60% due to less participation, the less aggressive target is qualitatively better for overall health. (numbers drawn out of the air).

        What's changed is HBP is not an old man's disease anymore, it's recognized as an issue needing t

      • No, you were told by the researchers to ignore the media and talk to your doctor, and wait for the numbers to make it to your doctor.

        The media told you to believe the numbers they were making up, because golly, those researchers know better and you should listen to the media to know what the researchers said, because gosh all that science is hard to understand!

        For example, they said that preliminary research showed that some forms of fat were really harmful, but they didn't know which kinds yet. And that it

    • In the end it is exclusively nature's fault for not adjusting fast enough to our changes in lifestyle.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 19, 2017 @01:22PM (#55581531)

    Death is the cure

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 19, 2017 @01:29PM (#55581561)

    At age 25, I was 6' 3", 160 lbs, and exercised. I had high blood pressure and the doc wanted to put me on medication. I thought I was too young for high blood pressure medication. I instead started eating salads instead of sandwiches, quit eating deli meat, and avoid processed and high sodium foods. I'm now 35, still 160 lbs, and my blood pressure is well within a normal range. You don't need pills. Eat healthy instead.

    • You don't need pills. Eat healthy instead.

      You do need pills if eating healthy doesn't lower your BP. Some people have ideopathic (doctor speak for: buggered if I know) hypertension.

  • Let's just lower the standard so we spend more money on treating nothing.

    Might as well lower the weight and BMI that define obesity. God knows how many die each year from being a lard butt.

  • try eating less salt (Score:3, Informative)

    by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Sunday November 19, 2017 @01:34PM (#55581587) Journal

    Let me fix that for you:

    try eating less crap! try to find a less hostile working environment. and most important, don't take on debt.

    Breath slow and deep. Learn how to work a defibrillator.

    You're welcome

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by iggymanz ( 596061 )

      less hostile working environment == not I.T. in these United States

      okay, got it

      • You might find that if you wipe the derp off your chin and shave your neckbeard, people will direct less hostility at you.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Orgasms lower blood pressure. Americans aren't getting enough sex. Prescribe vibrators.

  • by kaybee ( 101750 ) on Sunday November 19, 2017 @01:43PM (#55581657) Homepage

    Vegetables sure, but grains? No way. Try looking into Keto; it virtually guarantees lower blood pressure.

  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Sunday November 19, 2017 @01:49PM (#55581709) Journal

    Sorry to burst everyone's bubble, but Big Pharma isn't getting rich on this one.

    I've been taking Lisinopril for high blood pressure for a couple years now and a 90 day supply (1 x 20 mg tablet) costs me $3.00 with insurance. Without insurance it is about 3x-4x higher, from what I've seen.

    At 1/3 of a penny per dose, *my cost*, that isn't exactly high profit margin. U.S. Patents expired in 2002, meaning right now it is one of the cheapest medications available. Over the counter aspirin costs more.

    • they get you on the preexist list for stuff like this

    • Many, if not most, are not able to tolerate those older generic medications. Also, many of the older medications have been shown either not to increase or even to decrease lifespan. It is an interesting fact that few blood pressure medications achieve a lifespan increase.

      The only one that I've found to lower my pressure while not suppressing my heart rate during exercise (and thus causing me to pass out) is Losartan. It costs $60 per month or $720 per year.

      At that rate, my medication is around low-midrange

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Sunday November 19, 2017 @01:56PM (#55581745)

    And tell you that you eat all wrong and you have to eat ... well, whatever the latest eating craze is today. Eat this, eat that, and avoid this because it's poison. No matter that the next person recommends eating exactly that and only that, because what you just suggested is killing you within the year.

    You know what? Take your eating disorder in the making and stuff it. As we can see right now, whenever we manage to get healthier, we just move the goalpost on unhealthy. Lower number of heart diseases? Just invent a few new ones!

    We're getting older than ever before. And we die when we get to age 80 from diseases that didn't exist before because, guess what, we died from other diseases that we don't die from anymore. This is a GOOD thing people. Going on a diet that won't make you die at 80 because what you're eating now is slowly (insert bad thing for your body here) isn't going to do you any good if it gives you (bad thing that makes your organ fail) at 50. Then you won't die at 80 from (bad thing) but at 50 from (other bad thing).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Now the nutrition experts emerge again And tell you that you eat all wrong and you have to eat ... well, whatever the latest eating craze is today.

      The problem isn't nutrition experts, it's people who can't tell the difference between someone on late night TV trying to sell a snake-oil diet and actual nutrition experts.

      • You're right, I should've nutrition "experts" in quotes. But I guess you got what I wanted to say absolutely right

  • under the current administration. There's only one person to blame for that...

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      Yes, you.

      Leftists seem to think that perchance they didn't call people racists, sexists, homophobes, and Islamophobes enough. Maybe if you just verbally shat upon the stupid, uneducated, hateful, and soon-to-be-extinct white masses in flyover country who put Trump over the top, you could have shamed enough of these irredeemable rubes into voting for a party and an ideology that clearly hates their guts.

    • There's only one person to blame for that...

      ... and he sure does look sexy riding that pony around topless all the time!

  • In a world where everyone has high blood pressure I suspect we will soon be seeing an uptick of nobody taking such diagnosis seriously amid general growing mistrust of the medical industrial complex for grievances real and imagined.

    Ultimately even if you ignore studies showing half of all academic papers are bullshit and work under the assumption there is technical merit to the conclusions it still might be prudent to consider real world implications and take a different tact than California did when declar

  • All bullshit (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    physicians don't even have a standardised way to measure blood pressure. One measurement won't tell you much. You can't say my blood pressure
    is x/y. it can vary a lot and always depends on the circumstance it is measured. To say my blood pressure dropped by 3 points is stupid, because
    my estimate is that the margine of error is at least, depending on the method, between 5 and 10 mm/Hg and not only because of the error of the devices, but also because your physician is a factor for error. Add to that, the var

  • Truckers who drive semis and other large vehicles already have to have a medical certificate part of which is to not have high blood pressure over certain limits. This is to avoid strokes and heart attacks causing them to lose control of their vehicles. This is probably a reasonable precaution.

    The allowable levels currently set by regulation rather than the AHA guidelines, but there may be pressure from this to tighten those limits. Personally, I don't see this as needed.

    Are truckers who have 130/80 BP real

  • If you have hypertension and are 20 pounds overweight, lose those pounds! This may be more important than eating a lot of vegetables or eating less salt. Another thing you can do is cut down your alcohol consumption. Drink one light beer instead of 3 pints of 10% alcohol craft beer a day and you blood pressure will be lower.
  • Big Pharma is very good at scaring people into thinking they are sick. And the magical cure always seems to be some sort of pill. What big pharma is even better at is coming up with so called "maintenance drugs" that never actually cure anything. Lipitor is a prime example of this. You can take it for 10 years and it will help keep your cholesterol down but the moment you go off it your counts go right back where they were when you started. In other words, you are stuck taking this drug for life. Blood pres

  • They adjusted down the range of BMI which qualified you as overweight or obese [].

    I don't mind that they're doing this to encourage people to stay in a healthy range [] as they collect new data. I just wish there was a way the could do it without redefining what certain words mean.
  • This is nothing more than a scam to get you to cough up more money in insurance premiums. It's about as useful as having non-engineers decide on CAFE standards.

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"