Half of all U.S. adults have cardiovascular disease (Photo: Emily Gibney).
LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- A new report out from the American Heart Association shows that nearly half of all adults here in the U.S. have heart disease.
What's interesting here is that number comes from some updated guidelines for treating high blood pressure.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, and can lead to heart attack, heart failure and stroke.
Centra cardiologist Dr. Peter O'Brien explained that previously a blood pressure of 140/90 was considered high. Under the new guidelines 130/80 is considered high..
"Because we are finding out if you have say a blood pressure of 135 over 82 that's not as good as we thought," O'Brien said. "And that may have implications down the road for stroke, heart disease, kidney failure -- things of that sort."
Flagging the hypertension early can help save lives.
O'Brien said bringing your blood pressure down doesn't mean medication. It just involves some lifestyle changes -- weight loss, sodium restriction and exercise.