Guidelines and Scientific Statements

by American Heart Association News

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.


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.

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.


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.

Understanding the Prevention Guidelines: A Conversation With AHA CEO Nancy Brown and former AHA presidents Dr. Mariell Jessup and Dr. Sid Smith.


Heart disease includes numerous conditions, and the American Heart Association regularly releases guidelines for how to diagnose, treat and prevent these problems.


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.

Additional Resources:

Former AHA president Dr. Gordon Tomaselli, who served on the volunteer task force overseeing development of the prevention guidelines, answers basic guidelines questions.


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
  • Experts aim to improve treatment for heart complications in people with neuromuscular disorders
  • The future of heart disease prevention? How your genome expresses itself
  • 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
  • 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
  • Statement is first to address cardiac arrest during pregnancy

American Heart Association News Stories

American Heart Association News covers heart disease, stroke and related health issues. Not all views expressed in American Heart Association News stories reflect the official position of the American Heart Association.

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