Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

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.

Key details: The American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and nine other groups lowered the standard for high blood pressure from 140 over 90 to 130 over 80. They also created new defining categories, including "elevated," "Stage 1 and 2 hypertension," and "hypertensive crisis." Normal blood pressure still will be considered 120 over 80.

Why the change? Robert M. Carey, co-chairman of the group that produced the new report, said that blood pressures that were previously thought of as "normal" or "pre-hypertensive" actually placed patients "at significant risk for heart disease and death and disability." He added, "The risk hasn't changed. What's changed is our recognition of the risk."

What's new: The report's authors predict that relatively few U.S. adults that fall into the new hypertensive category will need medication. Instead, they hope patients will now be able to catch the condition early enough that they can address it through better eating, exercise, and other lifestyle changes.

Go deeper

Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

Screenshot: Fox News

President Trump has delivered a farewell speech and departed Washington for the last time on Air Force One, kicking off the day that will culminate with President-elect Joe Biden taking office.

What's next: The inaugural celebration for young Americans is being livestreamed, starting at 10am.

Updated 37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump departs on final Air Force One flight

President Trump and his family took off on Air Force One at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning for the final time en route to Florida.

The big picture: Trump's final hours as president were punctuated by his decisions to snub his successor's inauguration and grant pardons to many of his allies who have been swept up in corruption scandals.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Janet Yellen said all the right things to reassure the markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Treasury Secretary nominee and former Fed chair Janet Yellen's confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday showed markets just what they can expect from the administration of President-elect Joe Biden: more of what they got under President Trump — at least for now.

What it means: Investors and big companies reaped the benefits of ultralow U.S. interest rates and low taxes for most of Trump's term as well as significant increases in government spending, even before the coronavirus pandemic.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!