New recommendations may change the way you think about blood pressure. The ACC/AHA* developed these categories for defining and treating high blood pressure in 2017:
- Normal blood pressure is defined as <120/<80 mm Hg
- Elevated blood pressure is defined as 120-129/<80 mm Hg
- Hypertension stage 1 is 130-139 or 80-89 mm Hg
- Hypertension stage 2 is ≥140 or ≥90 mm Hg
Stage 1 Hypertension: Lifestyle changes may be sufficient to bring blood pressure back into a healthy range. See your doctor and create a personalized plan for lowering your blood pressure that includes:
- Choosing a heart healthy diet
- Careful salt use
- Physical activity
- Judicious alcohol consumption
Stage 2 Hypertension: In addition to making lifestyle changes, your doctor will also prescribe medication to help lower your blood pressure.
Certain chronic health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease may require treatment with medication in Stage 1 Hypertension.
*American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association