Stage 1 hypertension: The top number is between 130 and 139 or the bottom number is between 80-89. But don't worry too much-if you are one of the newly initiated, the experts aren't suggesting anything radical.
The guidelines are being published by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) for detection, prevention, management and treatment of high blood pressure. Under the previous guideline, 32 percent of USA adults had high blood pressure.
"This a major leap forward in bringing to our attention to the importance of the intensive treatment of elevated blood pressures, which is one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, risk factor for heart attack and stroke", Ferdinand said.
The government agency did not help write or officially endorse the guidelines - a change from previous versions - but it did back key research, including the 2015 study showing the value of lower blood pressure targets.
High blood pressure raises the risk for heart disease, stroke and other problems. These individuals should start taking medicine to lower their numbers, the researchers said.
Former CDC director Dr Tom Frieden, who is now the president and CEO of health nonprofit Vital Strategies, said: "We have to take control of high blood pressure worldwide".
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the US, killing 800,000 Americans and accounting for 670,000 heart attacks annually. Hypertension, where the force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls is elevated, is considered the second-largest cause of preventable heart disease after smoking.
"You've already doubled your risk of cardiovascular complications compared to those with a normal level of blood pressure", he said.
The new guidelines incorporate data from the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT), which was a large, randomized controlled trial created to assess the impact of more aggressive versus standard blood pressure goals on hard cardiovascular outcomes. This is called diastolic pressure.
"We want to be straight with people - if you already have a doubling of risk, you need to know about it", Whelton said. Rather, they hope, that many found with the early stages of the condition will be able to address it through lifestyle changes such as improving their diet, getting more exercise, consuming less alcohol and sodium and lowering stress. However, there will only be a small increase in the number of USA adults who will require antihypertensive medication, authors said.
"Lifestyle modification is the cornerstone of treatment for hypertension", Carey said.
The new guidelines will be influential in clinical practice, with most health care providers expected to follow the research-based recommendations from leading voices in cardiovascular medicine.
Data from SPRINT, which was also used in the new meta-analyses that were done for the guidelines, supports the lower blood pressure goal of 130/80 mm Hg for adults, including adults aged 65 years and older in institutionalized ambulatory, community-living settings, according to MacLaughlin.