Can You Lower Your Blood Pressure?

The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have released new treatment guidelines that sharply lower the threshold for high blood pressure, also called hypertension. As a result, tens of millions of Americans now qualify for the diagnosis.

The new guidelines have raised a number of questions for patients. Here are a few answers.

Who needs treatment now?

Anyone with a 10 percent or greater risk of heart trouble — a stroke or heart attack — in the next decade. That works out to about half of all Americans, and 80 percent of those over age 65.

How do I know my risk?

The new guidelines recommend that you use an online calculator. Try this one:

Excerpted from The New York Times

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