The 2017 American College of Cardiology High Blood Pressure Guidelines
The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) sets the national guidelines for high blood pressure (hypertension). In 2017, The ACC/AHA updated blood pressure guidelines for the first time in fifteen years. Together the ACC and AHA define the parameters of normal and abnormal blood pressure. . The updated guidelines eliminated the classification of prehypertension (Stage 1) and lowered the definition of high blood pressure. The outcome is more people will be diagnosed with hypertension.
The 2017 ACC/AHA blood pressure guidelines are as follows:
What do these new parameters mean? The new parameters mean that over 40% of the U.S. population will be classified as hypertensive. Both male and female patients with hypertension will double, if not, triple in numbers. The ACC/AHA guidelines were modified to increase awareness and encourage lifestyle changes to prevent Stage I and II hypertension. However, these guidelines have the capacity to affect dental practice.
- Normal: less than 120/80.
- Elevated: Systolic between 120-129 AND diastolic between 80-89 mm Hg.
- Stage 1: Systolic between 130-139 OR diastolic between 80-89 mm Hg.
- Stage 2: Systolic a least 140 OR diastolic at least 90 mm Hg.
- Hypertensive crisis: Systolic over 180 and/or diastolic over 120 mm Hg.
Do the new guidelines mean that an unrecognized and untreated hypertensive patient presents a higher risk for dental procedures? Most likely not. However, these new guidelines do not correlate with the updated ASA Physical Classification System. (Please see our blog on "ASA Physical Classification System with Dental Considerations"). The new blood pressure guidelines and ASAPC system stimulate some much needed dialogue to ensure dental patients continue to have access to care. Your thoughts?