High blood pressure means the pressure inside the blood vessels (called arteries) is too high. As the heart pumps against this pressure, it must work harder. Over time, this causes the heart muscle to thicken.
Because there are often no symptoms with high blood pressure, people can have the problem without knowing it. Symptoms most often do not occur until after many years of poor blood pressure control, when damage to the heart has occurred.
High blood pressure also leads to thickening of the blood vessel walls. When combined with cholesterol deposits in the blood vessels, the risk of heart attack and stroke increases.
Hypertensive heart disease is the leading cause of illness and death from high blood pressure.
Hypertensive heart disease refers to heart problems that occur because of high blood pressure that is present over a long time.
Diagnosing high blood pressure early can help prevent heart disease, stroke, eye problems, and chronic kidney disease.
All adults over the age of 18 should have their blood pressure checked every year. More frequent measurement may be needed for those with a history of high blood pressure readings or those with risk factors for high blood pressure.
Guidelines can change as new information becomes available, Therefore, your health care provider may recommend more frequent screenings based on your blood pressure levels and other health conditions.
If your blood pressure is high, you need to lower it and keep it under control.
- Do not stop or change high blood pressure medicines without talking to your provider.
- Carefully control diabetes and high cholesterol.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if you have high blood pressure and develop any symptoms.
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