A third of the country just got diagnosed with high blood pressure. New guidelines from the American Heart Association have changed the rate that constitutes dangerously high blood pressure for adults from 140/90 to 130/80. The changes are expected to affect the way approximately 100 million Americans think about their health, and cause many to have to go on medications. It’s a shift that particularly affects those suffering from alcoholism in Florida and the rest of the country. Among the many lifestyle changes recommended by physicians in response to the new guidelines is cutting average daily alcohol consumption by half. Alcohol spikes blood pressure and can often lead to hypertension.
With rates of alcoholism in Florida reportedly higher than the national average, the guidelines should be of particular concern for many residents of the Sunshine State. Recent data reports that over 17 percent of all adults in Florida regularly engage in binge drinking. While many of these Floridians are not yet alcoholics, they may be on the express route to full-blown dependency and high blood pressure. While many are quick to shrug off high blood pressure, it’s an incredibly serious disease that can lead to significant health and quality-of-life issues, including stroke and heart attack. It is linked to more than 1,000 deaths a day according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Alcoholism in Florida continues to be one of the state’s leading public health issues, creating health and safety concerns for sufferers and those who are affected by their behavior while intoxicated. High blood pressure is only one of many physical perils that accompany alcohol abuse and addiction. Treatment should offer comprehensive medical care for all corresponding medical issues. Those who are recovering from alcohol addiction may have access to certain types of medication to curtail their cravings and ease their withdrawal symptoms; however, certain lifestyle changes like healthy diet and exercise can help to further lower blood pressure.