THURSDAY, January 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) – Nearly half of US adults have high blood pressure, cardiac disease or a story of stroke, a new report shows.

This figure is up sharply from what the American Heart Association (AHA) released last year – mainly because of changes in the definition of hypertension. In 2017, the guidelines lowered the threshold to 130/80 mm Hg, down from 140/90 mm Hg used for a long time.

As a result, many more Americans are now entering the category of high blood pressure.

According to the new report, in 2016, about 48% of American adults had some form of cardiovascular disease: 9% had heart disease or lived with the after-effects of a heart attack. stroke. The rest had high blood pressure.

Dr. Emelia Benjamin led the committee that wrote the report, published online January 31 in the AHA Circulation Journal.

She said that there was little doubt that high blood pressure is prevalent in the United States: the average American has about 90% chance of developing the disease during his lifetime.

But people can take a lot of steps to delay or prevent hypertension, heart disease and strokesaid Benjamin, a professor at the Faculty of Medicine at Boston University.

"Stop smoking, eat healthier, exercise, get your cholesterol and blood sugar under control, "said Benjamin.

When it comes to exerciseshe noted, "I'm not talking about training for the Boston Marathon, you can stop taking the elevator and use the stairs.You can park your car at the furthest point of the store. . "

Focusing on simple small steps can make lifestyle changes more achievable, Benjamin advised.

According to the latest statistics, more than 121 million Americans were suffering from cardiovascular disease in 2016. This represents an increase from 92 million in last year's report. AHA.

The prevalence of this condition is a major concern, according to Dr. Ivor Benjamin, volunteer chair of the AHA.

"As one of the most common and most dangerous risk factors for heart disease and stroke, this hypertensive high blood pressure can not be discounted from the equation of our disease control. Cardiovascular, "he said in a statement from the AHA.