High blood pressure is a common ailment among truck drivers, and it might have just become even more common under the recently updated guidelines for the condition.
The American Heart Association Monday announced that high blood pressure is now defined as readings of 130 mm Hg and higher for systolic blood pressure (the top number), and 80 and higher for diastolic blood pressure (the lower number). The previous definition was 140/90 and higher.
This is the first update to the guidelines on blood pressure since 2003. The AHA estimates that about 14 percent more people will be diagnosed with high blood pressure. But, the organization anticipates there will only be a small change in the number of people prescribed high blood pressure medication. The AHA has also eliminated the prehypertension category.
High blood pressure is the second largest contributor to preventable heart disease and stroke deaths. The new guidelines are meant to help individuals detect blood pressure issues earlier.