High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, often has no symptoms but can cause serious issues if left untreated including stroke, heart failure and heart attack. A blood pressure reading of 140/90 or higher is generally considered high.
General risk factors of high blood pressure include:
- Age – Blood pressure tends to rise with age.
- Family history – People with a family history of high blood pressure are at an increased risk.
- Unhealthy lifestyle – An unhealthy diet, drinking alcohol excessively and being physically inactive can increase the risk for high blood pressure.
- Race or ethnicity – African Americans adults are at a higher risk than white, Hispanic or Asian adults.
- Sex – Men under the age of 55 are more likely to develop high blood pressure than women. Women are more likely to develop the condition than men after the age of 55.
It is crucial to have your blood pressure tested frequently because high blood pressure does not produce symptoms until more serious problems develop.
Detection and Diagnosis
A combination of analyzing your medical history and consistently high blood pressure readings may lead to a diagnosis of high blood pressure. Additional tests may be administered for your doctor to detect any other medical conditions that may be causing your high blood pressure, or to see if the high blood pressure has affected your kidneys.
Lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet and more frequent exercising can help lower blood pressure, as well as medication.