More than 103 million Americans will have high blood pressure under new guidelines

Known as the "silent killer," it raises risk of cardiac problems and strokes.
1:15 | 11/13/17

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Transcript for More than 103 million Americans will have high blood pressure under new guidelines
We turn next this evening to the major new health alert about high blood pressure the American Heart Association late today changing the guidelines when it comes to hypertension. Meaning nearly half of American adults could now be living with what's called the silent killer. Of course it affects both men and women so let's get rightly BC's chief medical editor doctor Jan asked engine always good to have you you've got the numbers what they used to be and what they now are tonight. Rate let's get right to those numbers under the old criteria someone had high blood pressure if they had a reading of 140 over ninety. Now it's an average reading of 130 over eighty the point behind this change is the thinking that it's better to treat the cause in this case high blood pressure. Then in effect like a heart attack or stroke to bring the number down in advance that a lot of people watching and homes and are gonna say this this Meehan and of the and medication now actually not necessarily and it's estimated that that number will only go up by 2% so the key here is lifestyle modification. Things like exercise and weight loss losing just 5% of your body weight. Lowering sodium intake and increasing potassium with foods like salmon avocados and bananas and limiting alcohol consumption no more than two drinks a day for man. And one drink a day for women this can bring down that number by an average of four to eleven points and every point matters Laurie doctor asked him with us tonight thank you Jan.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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