Chester County, PA residents -- Be aware of new blood pressure screening guidelines for 2017

Chester County, PA - In November 2017, The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) announced new guidelines to better define high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. 

Previously, hypertension was diagnosed with a systolic reading (upper number) of at least 140 and diastolic reading (lower number) of at least 90 – 140/90 mmHg. It has since been reduced to 130/80 mmHg.

It is estimated that 46 percent of U.S. adults will now be considered to have hypertension, compared to 32 percent under the previous guidelines. 

The change encourages earlier lifestyle modifications in an effort to reduce the risks of cardiovascular complications that are associated with blood pressure higher than 120/80 mmHg.

"With these new screening guidelines, we can expect to see a much greater awareness of the risks of high blood pressure and an emphasis on incorporating a heart healthy diet and lifestyle. For those at a greater risk, medication may be recommended at lower blood pressures in order to protect against organ damage," added Julie Funk, MS, RD, Director of Community Health & Wellness Services at Chester County Hospital.

New Blood Pressure Guidelines:

Normal: Less than 120/80 mmHg.

Elevated: Systolic between 120-129 and diastolic less than 80.

Stage 1 Hypertension: Systolic between 130-139 or diastolic between 80-89.

Stage 2 Hypertension: Systolic at least 140 or diastolic at least 90.

Hypertension crisis: Systolic over 180 and/or diastolic over 120, with individuals needing prompt changes in medication and assessment and/or hospitalization if signs of organ damage are present.

Knowing your numbers is an important step in beginning or maintaining a healthier lifestyle. Chester County Hospital along with Neighborhood Health offers free monthly blood pressure screenings at various locations. No appointments are necessary. For more information about these screenings, call 610-738-2300 or Click Here! >>

Free Blood Pressure Screenings:

Chester County Hospital
Waldron Lobby, First Floor
701 East Marshall Street
West Chester, PA 19380
Hours: Third Thursday of Each Month: 11 AM - 1 PM

Chester County Hospital
Penn Heart and Vascular, 2nd Floor
701 East Marshall Street
West Chester, PA 19380
Hours: Each Wednesday: 3 – 5 PM | Each Friday: 7:30 AM - 9 AM

Downingtown Area Senior Center - New Temporary Location:
United Methodist Church 
3503 Lincoln Highway
Thorndale, PA 19372
Phone: 610-269-3939
Hours: Second Wednesday of Each Month: 10 AM – 111 AM

Kennett Area Senior Center
427 South Walnut Street
Kennett Square, PA 19348
Phone: 610-444-4819
Hours: Second Thursday of Each Month: 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

West Chester Area Senior Center
530 E. Union Street
West Chester, PA 19382
Phone: 610-431-4242
Hours: Every Tuesday, 10 AM - 11 AM

West Chester Area YMCA
605 Airport Road
West Chester, PA 19380
Phone: 610-431-9622
Hours: First Wednesday of Each Month, 10 AM - 11 AM

Shop Rite Grocery Store
1115 West Chester Pike
West Chester, PA 19380
Phone: 610-247-6755
Hours: First Wednesday of Each Month, 12 Noon - 1 PM