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High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

What is hypertension?

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common condition affecting up to 10% of the population. Your blood pressure is a measure of how hard your blood presses against the walls of your large arteries. Early diagnosis and early treatment are key to bring your blood pressure under control. If hypertension remains untreated it can lead to a heart attack, stroke, or heart failure and kidney failure. All adults should have their blood pressure checked regularly.

Assessment

What assessment do I need if I have hypertension or suspected hypertension?

You are considered to have hypertension if your blood pressure readings are consistently above the target of 140/85. The target blood pressure if you have diabetes is lower than this. Your Cardiologist will want to make a thorough assessment of your associated risk factors such as age, history of diabetes, smoking, your cholesterol and your family history. There are a number of personal factors that can lead to hypertension such as being overweight, high salt intake, infrequent exercise and how much alcohol you drink. You will also need some basic blood tests, an ECG and also, usually, an echocardiogram. NICE guidelines recommend the wearing of a 24-hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor help make the diagnosis. A blood pressure monitor is invaluable in assessing the effectiveness of treatment.

Treatments

What are the treatments for hypertension?

If your blood pressure is found to be high, it will need to be closely monitored until it is brought under control. In the first instance this will involve lifestyle changes such as losing weight, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, cutting back if you drink a lot of alcohol, stopping smoking and cutting down on salt and caffeine. In some cases, despite lifestyle changes, medication will be required to achieve your target blood pressure. Your cardiologist will be able to guide you as the the timing and type of medication to help control your blood pressure.

  • Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM)

    This monitoring measures blood pressure during your usual activities. [READ MORE]

  • Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing (CPET)

    This test shows how the heart, lungs and muscles react when exercise is undertaken. [READ MORE]

  • Echocardiogram (TTE)

    An ‘echo’ is an ultrasound scan of the heart to assess structure and function. [READ MORE]

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) Test

    An ECG is a simple test that looks at the electrical activity of the heart. [READ MORE]

  • Exercise Tolerance Testing

    This test measures the effects on the heart rhythm and blood pressure when exercise is undertaken. [READ MORE]

Treatments

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Procedures

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