Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiometabolic disease and is common among the American population with nearly 1 in 3 adults suffering from high blood pressure. The proportion increases in adults with either type 1 or 2 diabetes – 2 out 3 patients report having high blood pressure or taking BP-lowering prescription medications. Current American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines define hypertension stage 1 as a sustained blood pressure reading of over 130/80 mm Hg and over 140/99 mm Hg for stage 2, increasing the number of diagnosed hypertensive patients.
Recently updated guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have contributed to a growing number of patients being diagnosed with hypertension. Lowering the threshold for hypertension from 140/90 to 130/80 mm Hg resulted in a significant increase of patients — with previously normal or slightly elevated blood pressure (BP) — who now rank in the hypertension stage 1 category. Although the revisions were made with the intention of encouraging early preventative action and lifestyle interventions, they have also prompted a rise in patients who qualify for antihypertensive medications.
In certain cases, blood pressure medication is necessary for hypertension treatment and ensuring adequate cardiometabolic care. A multitude of different antihypertensive drugs are available for patient use, including beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, diuretics, and calcium-channel blockers, which are often used in tandem. Although, these medications are often associated with adverse effects, such as gastrointestinal problems, dizziness, weakness, headache, and many other undesirable symptoms.