Hypertension

About hypertension (high blood pressure)

Blood pressure normally rises and falls throughout the day, but it can damage your heart and cause health problems if it stays high for a long time. Hypertension is the term used for blood pressure that is higher than normal.

When you take care of your blood pressure, you’re taking care of your whole body so that you can stay healthy and do more of the things you want to do. Having hypertension puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke, which are leading causes of death in the U.S. Hypertension can be managed with lifestyle changes and medicine.

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Prevention

Things you can do to maintain a healthy blood pressure and avoid hypertension

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Diagnosis and Treatment

Learn how to monitor your blood pressure and how hypertension is treated

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Management

How to properly care for yourself when you have been diagnosed with hypertension

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Understanding hypertension

Who is at risk for hypertension?

 

Risk factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Having other people in your family who have high blood pressure.
  • Diet, including high sodium intake and alcohol consumption.
  • Being overweight or obese, and not getting enough physical activity.
  • Race. African Americans are more likely to get high blood pressure and at an earlier age.
What are the symptoms of hypertension?

Despite what a lot of people think, high blood pressure usually doesn’t cause headaches or make you feel dizzy or lightheaded. It usually has no symptoms.

What are the effects of hypertension?

When blood pressure is high, over time it can harm organs throughout the body, including the brain, eyes, heart and kidneys. It raises your risk of health problems, including heart attack and stroke.

How can I reverse hypertension?

It's never too late to manage your high blood pressure. Lowering your blood pressure also lowers your risk of serious problems. You and your doctor can make a plan to lower yours with a healthy lifestyle and medicine.