Blood Pressure Specialist Arden NC

Not so long ago, you either had high blood pressure or you didn’t. Your blood pressure could even flirt with the high normal range without anyone getting overly worked up about it. The same held true for elevated-but'still-normal blood sugar levels.

William Robert Hathaway, MD
(828) 274-6000
PO Box 7239
Asheville, NC
Specialties
Cardiology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Med Coll Of Wi, Milwaukee Wi 53226
Graduation Year: 1988

Data Provided by:
Dennis Michael Unks, MD
(828) 274-6000
PO Box 7239
Asheville, NC
Specialties
Cardiology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Pittsburgh Sch Of Med, Pittsburgh Pa 15261
Graduation Year: 1987

Data Provided by:
Richard J Hefner, MD
(828) 274-6000
PO Box 7239
Asheville, NC
Specialties
Cardiology
Gender
Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2007

Data Provided by:
Brian Henry Asbill, MD
(828) 274-6000
PO Box 7239
Asheville, NC
Specialties
Cardiology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Med Univ Of Sc Coll Of Med, Charleston Sc 29425
Graduation Year: 1994
Hospital
Hospital: Stokes -Reynolds Memorial Hos, Danbury, Nc
Group Practice: Asheville Cardiology Assoc

Data Provided by:
John Stephen Pastorek, MD
(828) 274-6000
PO Box 7239
Asheville, NC
Specialties
Cardiology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Northeastern Oh Univs Coll Of Med, Rootstown Oh 44272
Graduation Year: 1990

Data Provided by:
Marjorie Ellen Tripp, MD
(828) 274-6000
PO Box 7239
Asheville, NC
Specialties
Cardiology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Yale Univ Sch Of Med, New Haven Ct 06510
Graduation Year: 1973

Data Provided by:
Eric David Van Tassel, MD
(828) 274-6000
PO Box 7239
Asheville, NC
Specialties
Cardiology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Nc At Chapel Hill Sch Of Med, Chapel Hill Nc 27599
Graduation Year: 1982
Hospital
Hospital: Mission St Joseph Health Syste, Asheville, Nc
Group Practice: Asheville Cardiology Assoc

Data Provided by:
Brian Herb Annex, MD
(828) 274-6000
PO Box 7239
Asheville, NC
Specialties
Cardiology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Yale Univ Sch Of Med, New Haven Ct 06510
Graduation Year: 1985

Data Provided by:
Robert Frank Hanich, MD
(828) 274-6000
PO Box 7239
Asheville, NC
Specialties
Cardiology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Pa Sch Of Med, Philadelphia Pa 19104
Graduation Year: 1983

Data Provided by:
William Wyant Wharton, MD
(828) 274-6000
PO Box 7239
Asheville, NC
Specialties
Cardiology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Va Sch Of Med, Charlottesville Va 22908
Graduation Year: 1988

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Blood Pressure Concerns

Provided by: 

By James Keough

Not so long ago, you either had high blood pressure or you didn’t. Your blood pressure could even flirt with the high normal range without anyone getting overly worked up about it. The same held true for elevated-but-still-normal blood sugar levels. But all that changed over a 10-year period as the medical profession established new benchmarks and reclassified the old “normal” as “preconditions.”

For blood pressure, that happened in 2003. The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC-7) set guidelines for pre-hypertension by defining normal blood pressure as less than 120/80 and setting the optimal level at 115/75. That same year, the term pre-diabetes gained new meaning and considerable traction when then-Health Secretary Tommy Thompson used it to warn Americans of their high risk of developing diabetes. Ten years earlier a committee hosted by the World Health Organization had established bone mineral density readings as the new measure for osteoporosis and at the same time created a new precursor called osteopenia.

At first blush, the concept of preconditions makes perfect sense. If you have a disease like diabetes, then ipso facto, at some point prior to your diagnosis your blood sugar levels became pre-diabetic—not in the sense of “before” diabetes, but rather as in “leading up to” the disease. And theoretically, once you learned that, you and your doctor could take action to make those levels normal again and thus prevent the onset of the disease. And in an ideal—and perhaps less complicated—world that’s what would happen.

The value of a precondition
When asked about the value of reclassifying “high-normal blood pressure” as pre-hypertension, a doctor joked that previously the only thing his patients heard when he used the old term was “Hi, your blood pressure is normal.” For him—and for a good deal of the medical profession—the new precondition underscores the seriousness of the situation for patients. How bad is it? Studies show that compared to people who have normal blood pressure, those with pre-hypertension (120/80 to 139/89) have three and a half times the risk of heart attack and more than one and a half times the risk of coronary artery disease. Other studies have shown that starting at the new optimal level (115/75), the risk of heart attack doubles with each 20-point increase in systolic blood pressure (the top number) or 10-point increase in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number). Pre-hypertensives also face a vastly increased risk of developing high blood pressure. The Framingham Heart Study found that within four years of baseline testing, 39 to 53 percent of people with high-normal blood pressure (the top half of the current pre-hypertension range) progressed to stage 1 hypertension.

These are not good odds—and they get worse the older you are when first diagnosed with pre-hypertension and the longer you ...

Author: James Keough

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