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New Blood Pressure Guidelines Affect Millions

SCRANTON -- The number of Americans considered to have high blood pressure has just gone up.

New guidelines released this week have lowered the number for high blood pressure from 140/90 to 130/80.

That change affects millions of Americans.

"Research has shown that even a 10-millimeter difference between blood pressures that if you lower it, people do better," said cardiologist Dr. Peter Cawley.

Dr. Cawley is a cardiologist at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton. He says the new numbers are meant to create more awareness for those dealing with high blood pressure.

"Many times, these things are the start, are just a value between you and your health care provider and start a discussion."

Also helping start the conversation between a patient and doctor is Geisinger's new wellness program called 'Springboard Healthy Scranton.

The goal is to lead people in this area to a healthier lifestyle and in turn, build stronger communities.

"We are reiterating the messages that it's small changes that you can make every day so it's, how do you get a little bit more active? How do you reduce your salt? How do you make those lifestyle choices to improve your health?" said Brian Ebersole of Springboard Healthy Scranton.

People we found walking out of the Medical Urgent Care on Mulberry Street understand why paying attention to blood pressure matters.

"Blood pressure is a big thing. If you don't care about blood pressure, then you don't care about yourself," said Dallis Buck. "Got to go to the gym, got to take care of yourself. Your body is your temple."

Doctors at Geisinger tell us the best thing you can do about your own blood pressure is to talk to your doctor about it.

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