24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825
Fax: (361)578-5500

Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Are Disinfectants Putting Nurses at Risk of COPD?Fat Collects in Lungs, Raising Asthma RiskDrug Limits Damage of Brain InjuryMore Patients With Heart Disease Die at Home Than in HospitalYour Noisy Knees May Be Trying to Tell You SomethingHealth Tip: 10 Ways to Reduce Injury RiskIs That Statin Doing You Any Good?Surgery Helps Tough-to-Treat Acid RefluxBrain Damage From Concussion Evident a Year LaterFor Kids With Genetic Condition, Statins May Be LifesaversNext-Gen Artificial Pancreas Boosts Blood Sugar ControlAHA News: Lowering Blood Pressure May Prevent New Brain Lesions in Older PeopleBladder Drug Can Cause Eye Damage: StudyGood News, Bad News on Concussions in High School SportsSteroid Shots for Painful Joints May Make Matters WorseHealth Tip: Broken Toe CareSleep Apnea Linked to Diabetic Eye DiseaseChildhood Risk Factors Can Predict Adult ObesityHealth Tip: Gum Disease Risk FactorsPut Safety First When Planning to Pack Food-to-GoA Parent's Guide to Managing Kids' Asthma During the FallWhat Foods Are Most Likely to Cause Acne Breakouts?Vision Problems Strike More Than 2 Billion GloballyLight Smoking Causes More Lung Damage Than Once Suspected: StudyHealth Tip: Choking First AidBy Mid-Century, Heat Waves Could Cover Far Bigger AreasGet Vaccinated Before Flu Takes Hold: CDCClose to 1,300 Cases of Vaping-Linked Illness Now IdentifiedMore Years of Football, Higher Odds for Brain Disease LaterPain Relief: When to Use Cold, When to Use HeatAHA News: High Triglycerides Caused a Diet Change – at Age 10Humans May Possess Ability to Regrow CartilageHealth Tip: Recognizing Bedbug Bites'Smartphone Slouching' More Serious Than It SoundsAHA News: What's Your Sense of Purpose? The Answer May Affect Your HealthDeep Brain Stimulation May Relieve Ringing in the Ears: StudyWhat Are the Risks of Pain Relief Alternatives to Opioids?Many ICU Admissions May Be Preventable, Large Study SuggestsCause of Paralyzing Illness in Kids Remains ElusiveFlu Season Is Coming: Here's How to Protect YourselfSinus Infections: What You Need to KnowFewer Teeth, Higher Risk of Heart Disease?Fungal Invasion May Drive Some Pancreatic CancersHealth Tip: Lowering Your Resting Heart RateYour Washer Might Be Breeding Drug-Resistant GermsCan Your Eating Habits Keep Alzheimer's at Bay?Prescription Opioids Linked to Poor Outcomes in Kidney PatientsCases of Serious Vaping-Linked Lung Injury Now Top 1,000Organic Chicken Less Likely to Harbor a Dangerous 'Superbug'Running the Numbers on High Blood Pressure
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Diabetes

Nearly Half of American Adults Have Unhealthy Hearts: Report

HealthDay News
by By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Jan 31st 2019

new article illustration

THURSDAY, Jan. 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Almost half of U.S. adults have high blood pressure, heart disease or a history of stroke, a new report shows.

That figure is up sharply from what the American Heart Association (AHA) reported last year -- largely because of changes in the definition of high blood pressure. In 2017, guidelines lowered the threshold to 130/80 mm Hg, down from the long-used 140/90 mm Hg.

As a result, many more Americans now fall into the high blood pressure category.

In 2016, the new report estimates, about 48 percent of U.S. adults had some form of cardiovascular disease: That included 9 percent who had heart disease or were living with the aftereffects of a stroke. The rest had high blood pressure.

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

She said there's little doubt that high blood pressure is highly prevalent in the United States: the average American has about a 90 percent lifetime chance of developing the condition.

But there are plenty of steps people can take to delay or prevent high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, said Benjamin, a professor at Boston University School of Medicine.

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

When it comes to exercise, she 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 in the furthest spot from the store."

Focusing on simple, small steps may make lifestyle changes more attainable, Benjamin advised.

Based on the latest statistics, over 121 million Americans had some type of cardiovascular condition in 2016. That's up from 92 million in last year's AHA report.

The pervasiveness of that condition is a major concern, according to Dr. Ivor Benjamin, volunteer president of the AHA.

"As one of the most common and dangerous risk factors for heart disease and stroke, this overwhelming presence of high blood pressure can't be dismissed from the equation in our fight against cardiovascular disease," he said in an AHA statement.

He added that if high blood pressure were "eliminated," that would do more to cut deaths from heart disease and stroke than eliminating all other risk factors among women -- and all risk factors except smoking among men.

The AHA is reporting some encouraging trends, however.

Smoking rates among adults and teenagers continue to decline, while the number of people who exercise has continued to climb: Just under 27 percent of adults say they are sedentary, versus 40 percent back in 2005.

According to Benjamin, the report's author, "People are starting to get the message. If you go from being completely sedentary to even moderate activity, you'll benefit."

On the other hand, the prevalence of obesity remains stubbornly high, the AHA reported. Just under 40 percent of U.S. adults are obese, with almost 8 percent severely so. Meanwhile, over 18 percent of children and teenagers are obese.

There are no easy solutions to that problem, Benjamin noted. And the responsibility is not only on individuals, she said.

Many Americans lack access to affordable healthy food, safe places to exercise or health care, she explained -- and those are needs that have to be addressed.

More information

The AHA has advice on following a heart-healthy lifestyle.