New blood pressure guidelines aim to prevent heart issues

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Earlier this month, the American Heart Association released new blood pressure guidelines that will help people take steps to control their blood pressure earlier.

According to the AHA, each year, more than 630,000 Americans die from heart disease. Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack.

The new guidelines now define high blood pressure as 130 over 80. This is a change from the old standard of 140 over 90.

“Heart month is always an important month because heart disease is the leading cause of death across the nation but certainly in Eau Claire,” says Lieske Giese, Director of Eau Claire City-County Health Department. “More than 200 people die every year in Eau Claire City-County from heart related reasons.”

The AHA says many of the risk factors for heart disease are preventable.

The first step in prevention is learning your heart health numbers.

“Blood pressure is called the silent killer,” says cardiologist at Mayo Clinic Health System, Andrew Calvin. “The vast majority of people have no symptoms whatsoever and the only way to know that your blood pressure is high is by having it checked.”

Some healthy changes to lower your risk of heart disease include physical activity for 30-60 minutes a day, eating fruits and vegetables every day, drinking alcohol in moderation, and finding ways to manage stress.

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