A national change in the guidelines for hypertension has caused a big increase in the number of Michiganders considered to have high blood pressure.
In early December the American Heart Association changed blood pressure guidelines.
Blood pressure used to be considered high at 140-over-90. The new guidelines drop the numbers by 10-points each to 130-over 80.
Angela Minicuci is a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. She said the hope is people will become aware of high blood pressure earlier in life.
“Changes that you might make to your diet or your physical activity levels, those recommendations wouldn’t come until you would have been considered for having high blood pressure. Now that the reading is lower those recommendations for things you can do to prevent heart disease, those recommendations will come earlier in life hopefully preventing a heart attack or a stroke.”
Minicuci said under the old guidelines, three-point-three million Michigan residents were considered to have high blood pressure. With the new numbers, about a million more people will be diagnosed.