Guidelines & Scientific Statements
The American Heart Association regularly releases guidelines and scientific statements for preventing and treating heart disease and stroke. What do these guidelines mean for you? Should you change your medications? Should you see a doctor for treatment? How do you know if you’re healthy? You’ll find answers here in the Guidelines Resource Center.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE In November 2017, the rules changed about what classifies as high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Experts looking at all the newest data defined hypertension as a reading of 130 on the top or 80 on the bottom. In the past, the standard was 140/90.
- Nearly half of U.S. adults could now be classified with high blood pressure, under new definitions
- Don’t just get your BP taken; make sure it’s taken the right way
- More than half of all African-Americans have high blood pressure under new diagnostic guidelines
- Experts recommend lower blood pressure for older Americans
Dr. John Warner, president of the American Heart Association, discusses the 2017 high blood pressure guidelines with Dr. Paul Whelton, chair of the group that wrote the recommendations.
PREVENTION The latest heart disease and stroke prevention guidelines for doctors, released in November 2013 by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology, urge them to help you avoid heart disease and stroke by prescribing drugs called statins for some of you, treating obesity as a disease and giving you other resources to stay healthy.
- Highlights of the four new prevention guidelines
- The new cholesterol guidelines explained
- The new lifestyle guidelines explained
- The new obesity guidelines explained
- The new risk assessment guidelines explained
Understanding the Prevention Guidelines: A Conversation With AHA CEO Nancy Brown and former AHA presidents Dr. Mariell Jessup and Dr. Sid Smith.
HEART DISEASE Heart disease includes numerous conditions, and the American Heart Association regularly releases guidelines for how to diagnose, treat and prevent these problems.
- 911 operators should provide CPR instructions, guidelines say
- New guidelines aim to prevent sudden cardiac death
- Guidelines update: Heart failure prevention possible with new tests
- First fainting guidelines issued to diagnose life-threatening heart conditions
- Better valve, better procedure among new guidelines for heart valve disease
- PAD patients should take statins, blood thinners
- Two new drugs added to heart failure guidelines
- Guidelines revise how long certain heart disease patients should receive a blood-thinning drug combination
- Guidelines first to focus on children with pulmonary hypertension
- New resuscitation guidelines update CPR chest pushes
- Mobile phones should be used to speed help to cardiac arrest victims, guidelines say
- Guidelines call for stronger, more coordinated cardiac arrest response
- New guidelines help doctors assess severity of heart valve disease
- New guidelines update treatment options for atrial fibrillation
- New guidelines aim to improve care for babies with heart problems in the womb
- First set of recommendations in a decade advocate gender-specific approach for women
STROKE Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability for Americans. Guidelines from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association provide the best scientific evidence for how to treat strokes and how to help people at risk.
- More stroke patients eligible for crucial treatments under new guidelines
- Acute ischemic stroke: Guidelines urge new approach to treating worst strokes
- Stroke prevention in women: Preeclampsia doubles women’s stroke risk, quadruples later high blood pressure risk
- Secondary stroke prevention: Prevent another stroke by keeping blood pressure and lifestyle in check
- What is a medical guideline, and how is it created?
- Cardiovascular risk calculator from American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association
- Study raises questions about risk calculations for heart disease, stroke
- Infographic: What the prevention guidelines mean to you
- Cholesterol guidelines: myth vs. truth
- African-Americans can receive individualized snapshot of risk
- Answers to common questions about the new prevention guidelines
- Letter to America: Why prevention guidelines matter
- Doctors’ advice on the prevention guidelines
- About 12.8 million more adults eligible for discussions with their physicians to determine if statins are appropriate treatment
Former AHA president Dr. Gordon Tomaselli, who served on the volunteer task force overseeing development of the prevention guidelines, answers basic guidelines questions.
SCIENTIFIC STATEMENTS The American Heart Association publishes scientific statements explaining research on heart disease and stroke.
- South Asians’ high risk of cardiovascular disease has been hidden by a lack of data
- New guidance issued for treating cardiac arrest in children with heart disease
- A call for deeper understanding of AFib, a growing and dangerous heart rhythm disorder
- Avoiding heart disease should be considered during breast cancer treatments
- Distressing experiences as a kid impact cardiovascular health later in life
- New report raises concerns about the cardiovascular health of African-Americans
- Looking beyond the heart in adults with congenital heart disease
- Self-care: What is it and how do you do it?
- Experts aim to improve treatment for heart complications in people with neuromuscular disorders
- The future of heart disease prevention? How your genome expresses itself
- U.S. heart patients, economy could suffer without more medical research funding
- Doctors’ orders should include tailored health education for patients
- New guidance on heart failure tests can improve care
- Kawasaki disease: Clues but still no clear cause for rare heart disease in kids
- Many heart patients aren’t prescribed cardiac rehabilitation, despite benefits
- Fish oil supplements provide some benefit after heart attack, heart failure
- New blood thinners require preparation to manage bleeding risk
- When you eat and how frequently may benefit heart health
- Successful pregnancy possible for some women with high-risk congenital heart disease
- ‘Silent strokes’ found accidentally need treatment, statement says
- Preferences should be ingredient in healthy eating
- High blood pressure linked to higher risk of cognitive impairment
- Sleep important to heart, brain health
- Experts urge zero tolerance for secondhand cigarette smoke exposure in kids
- Kids and added sugars: How much is too much?
- Sensitivity to salt emerging as cardiovascular risk factor
- Commonly used drugs may cause, worsen heart failure
- Mobile devices, social media may improve emergency heart, stroke care
- Statement is first to address cardiac arrest during pregnancy