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Monday, the American Heart Association announced that it is changing the blood pressure guidelines for the first time in fourteen years. Under the new guideline a person will be considered to have high blood pressure if their reading measures above 130/80. 

The changes are expected to drastically impact adult Americans: revising the hypertension threshold downward will increase the percent of U.S. adults living with high blood pressure from 32 percent to 46 percent — nearly half of the adult population. It will also disproportionately affect younger people by tripling the number of men under 45 and doubling the number of women under 45 with the diagnosis.   (Source ABC News)

What will this mean for the trucking industry?  It is too early to tell. Currently, DOT guidelines state that Stage 1 Hypertension is 140/90 – 159/99. We will see any changes in policy? Probably, not for a long time.

The authors of the study recommend lifestyle changes, rather than medications, should a person fall in this range. Those changes include exercise, changes in diet and weight loss as a beginning step to lowering blood pressure.  If you have questions or concerns about hypertension, consult a medical professional.  Do it sooner rather than later. Don’t wait until it’s time to renew your medical card to get your blood pressure under control.

To learn more about the changes in guidelines, read the entire ABC News article and watch the video HERE.


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