The Lowdown on New Blood Pressure Guidelines

The Lowdown on New Blood Pressure Guidelines

(theme music) (applause) – I’m here with Dr. Frida
Lewis Hall, Pfizer’s chief medical officer to answer
your questions in our Ask the Doctors segment. I really enjoy these segments,
so let’s just jump right in. You’re Alexa, right? – I am. – Okay, so Alexa, you have a question. How can we help? – Hi doctors, I have a
question for you guys. So I thought I was
managing my blood pressure but my doctor recently
told me that the guidelines have changed and now I’m at risk. What do you think I should do? – Well that’s a really good question ’cause I had read the same
thing, that they’ve changed the guidelines and dropped,
like, one of the categories so tell us about it. – Yes, so in 2017 the
American Heart Association and the American College
of Cardiology released new guidelines for the
diagnosis and management of high blood pressure and
it’s really the first update since 2003. Basically the new guidelines
say that the diagnosis of hypertension or high
blood pressure is made when your blood pressure with
a blood pressure cuff reads 130 over 80 or higher. Now remember the top number
is your blood pressure when your heart is
beating, the bottom number is your blood pressure
when your heart’s at rest between beats. Now it used to be 140
over 90 or higher and with that change essentially we’ve
done away with the category of pre hypertension. And basically these new
guidelines are designed to help people get really
motivated and energized and in treatment for this
potentially deadly illness earlier with their healthcare team. – You talk about getting involved earlier. Exercise is really important for this. You’re gonna talk about that in a second but you’ve got to make an
appointment with yourself. And the thing that I hear
from people most of all is they plan to do it, they mean to do it, the day gets busy and it gets crowded out and it’s easier to cancel
an appointment with themself than with somebody else. And you just can’t do that,
you gotta make an appointment if you’re gonna go to the gym
or you’re gonna walk around, you’re gonna do whatever
exercise you’re gonna do, you gotta make an appointment
with yourself and keep it. Because you can’t be a
Johnny come lately with this you need to get started on
this now and be consistent about it and knowing the
guidelines have changed, and Alexa may be at risk,
what should she do now? If she makes these
appointments with herself, what should she do with
those appointments? – So the first appointment
that she should make is with herself and with
her healthcare team. And your healthcare team
may actually tell you to do a couple of things right out of the gate. So first of all you may want
to monitor your blood pressure at home in addition to
your routine health checks with your healthcare
team, that for starters. And then the other thing is
that they may help you design a treatment plan that helps
you get out in front of, or helps you keep your
blood pressure in check, if you would. And that can include lifestyle changes or they may prescribe
a medication for you. So here’s some things that
you can do to keep your blood pressure in check for starters. So the first thing is managing weight. So manage your weight,
manage your healthy diet so it isn’t just weight
it’s a healthy diet and make sure to reduce that sodium, that is so very important. And get active, the right
amount of exercise will help you with your circulation, your
strength and your balance. And if you drink, limit
alcohol, drink no more than one to two drinks per day. So all of these things
are so very important in managing your blood pressure. – Yeah, well to learn more
about your blood pressure and how to manage it you
should go to the website – And of course while
you’re there you can sign up for the monthly newsletter
and helpful information will come to you. – Well Dr. Frida I believe
these Ask the Doctors segments are so important and helpful so let’s do one again soon, okay? – We’ll look forward to it, thank you. (applause) (theme music)

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