High blood pressure (hypertension) guide
About 72 million people in the United States age 20 and older have high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. That's one in every four adults. High blood pressure is referred to as the "silent killer" because it often has no warning signs.
Many people are surprised to find that they have high blood pressure. But it is a serious condition -- one of the leading causes of stroke and heart disease. If you've been diagnosed with high blood pressure, take it seriously.
By following the steps below and working with your doctor, you CAN lower your high blood pressure and decrease your risk for heart disease.
I. Let's Get StartedStep 1: What is blood pressure?Step 2: Take high blood pressure seriouslyStep 3: What causes high blood pressure?Step 4: Who gets high blood pressure?
II. Testing and ScreeningStep 5: High blood pressure is "silent"Step 6: Diagnosing high blood pressureStep 7: Follow-up office visits
III. Managing High Blood PressureStep 8: Treatment overviewStep 9: Maintain healthy habitsStep 10: Drug therapyStep 11: Monitor your blood pressure at homeStep 12: You and your doctor are a team
(Note: File requires Adobe Acrobat)
Drug treatments: ACE inhibitors
Drug treatments: Beta blockers
Drug treatments: Calcium channel blockers
Drug treatments: Diuretics
Drug treatments: Other drugs
High blood pressure in children
High blood pressure: Risk factors in women
More conditions related to high blood pressure
Pay attention to your systolic pressure!
Recommendations for specific types of patients
Questions to ask your doctor
The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure. JAMA. 2003;289.
Hansen ML, Gunn PW, Kaelber DC. Underdiagnosis of hypertension in children and adolescents. JAMA. 2007 Aug 22;298(8):874-9.
Kaplan NM. Systemic hypertension: therapy. In: Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, eds. Libby: Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 8th ed. Saunders; 2007:chap 41.
Urbina E, Alpert B, Flynn J, Hayman L, Harshfield GA, Jacobson M, et al. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in children and adolescents: recommendations for standard assessment: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association Atherosclerosis, Hypertension, and Obesity in Youth Committee of the council on cardiovascular disease in the young and the council for high blood pressure research. Hypertension. 2008 Sep;52(3):433-51. Epub 2008 Aug 4.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for type 2 diabetes mellitus in adults: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2008 Jun.
Last reviewed 6/8/2011 by Steven Kang, MD, Division of Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology, East Bay Arrhythmia, Cardiovascular Consultants Medical Group, Oakland, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
- The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
- A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.
- Call 911 for all medical emergencies.
- Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.
Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.