In 2016, Hypertension Canada changed its guidelines to recommend that number be lowered to 120, following a landmark U.S. study — the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) — that found that lowering the systolic target number could reduce deaths by 27 per cent among adults at a high risk of heart disease but without diabetes, stroke or heart failure.

That’s 100,000 fewer deaths per year.

A study, released by the Canadian Journal of Cardiology on Friday, found that 1.3 million Canadians would be impacted by the guideline, and 14 per cent of those (182,600 people) would not have been previously considered to have hypertension.