New blood pressure recommendations released

(NBC) - One in three adults have high blood pressure. It's known as the silent killer because at first it's hard to determine if there's a problem.

"You don't feel better when your blood pressure is at goal, and you don't feel bad when it's too high," said nurse practitioner Eric Noyes.

Now for people 60 and older, 150/90 is the new threshold for recommended treatment: before it was 140/90.

While some don't agree with the new recommendations, Noyes says he hopes it will bring more communication.

"It's good to have the treatment guidelines available to the community, so each patient can make a decision with their specialists on what their individual goals are," Noyes said.

Noyes also says it's important to remember it's just a broad-based number, and doctors should determine treatment based on a patient's risk factors and history.

Noyes estimates one-third of half of patients on blood pressure medications quit them at some point because of the side effects. He hopes patients don't stop using medications because of these new recommendations.

"There are over 100 medications available to treat high blood pressure," Noyes said. "You should be able to find one you can tolerate."

Regardless of what the numbers say, he encourages everyone to be proactive with their health.

"If your blood pressure is elevated, you need to be on treatment," Noyes said. "It means you need to be seen and checked out."

Experts, however, do want to stress that not everyone needs medication. Instead, a more active lifestyle, a healthy change to your diet, and weight loss could improve blood pressure.