An additional 30 million U.S. adults will now be considered hypertensive

A patient has her blood pressure checked by a registered nurse. New medical guidelines lower the threshold for high blood pressure, adding 30 million Americans to those who have the condition. Photo: Toby Talbot / AP

For the first time in 14 years, top health experts have lowered the bar for adults who are categorized as hypertensive, per the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The change means that 30 million more U.S. adults, many of whom are under the age of 45, will now be considered hypertensive — a sharp increase from recent years. Doctors hope the move will help motivate people to address their risk-level sooner, and bring heightened awareness to one of the leading causes of death in the U.S.