A new report estimates that nearly half of all US adults have some form of heart disease or blood vessel disease, a medical milestone largely due to recent guidelines that have increased the number of people with hypertension.

The American Heart Association said Thursday that more than 121 million adults were suffering from cardiovascular disease in 2016. By eliminating people with high blood pressure, there would remain 24 million, or 9% of adults, who suffered from other forms of illness, such as heart failure or clogged arteries.

Measuring the burden of disease shows that areas need to be improved, said Dr. Mariell Jessup, Scientific and Medical Lead of the Heart Association, in a statement.

High blood pressure, which was long defined as a maximum reading of at least 140 or a lower value of 90, has fallen to 130 over 80 according to the guidelines adopted in 2017. It increases the risk of seizures cardiac, stroke and many other problems, and only about half of those with it control it.

A diagnosis of high blood pressure does not necessarily mean that you need medication right away. the first step is to adopt a healthier lifestyle, even for people who are prescribed medication. A poor diet, lack of exercise and other bad habits are causing 90 percent of high blood pressure.

the report is an annual update of statistics done by the Cardiology Association, the National Institutes of Health and others.

Other highlights:

-The disease of the heart and blood vessels is linked to one in three deaths in the United States and kills more Americans than all forms of cancer and respiratory diseases such as pneumonia combined.

-Some groups have higher rates than others; 57% of black women and 60% of black men.

– Coronary heart disease, or clogged or hardened arteries, was responsible for 43% of cardiovascular deaths in the United States, followed by stroke (17%), high blood pressure (10% ) and heart failure (9%).

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Marilynn Marchione can be followed at @MMarchioneAP

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Department of Scientific Education. The Good Medical is solely responsible for all content.