Who is at Risk for Developing Hypertension?

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Hypertension, also called high blood pressure, occurs when the force of blood against the walls of the arteries is consistently too high. This places excess strain on the heart and other organs. If left untreated, hypertension leads to complications like heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke.

While almost anyone can develop symptoms of hypertension, some factors may put you at a higher risk. A doctor or trained healthcare provider can help determine the best possible course of treatment for your specific needs.

What is a normal blood pressure reading?

Hypertension is often known as the "silent killer" because it typically has no noticeable symptoms. One of the only ways to know for sure if you have high blood pressure is to get it checked by a healthcare provider.

So, what is considered a normal blood pressure reading? Usually 120/80 mmHg. This means that the systolic pressure (the top number) is 120 mmHg, and the diastolic pressure (the bottom number) is 80 mmHg. However, optimal blood pressure varies depending on your age and any underlying medical conditions. It's best to consult with a doctor to determine what is considered normal for you.

Who is at risk of hypertension?

There are several factors that increase your chances of developing hypertension. These include:

  • Age: As we age, blood vessels can become less flexible and more narrow, increasing the risk of hypertension.
  • Family history: If you have family members with high blood pressure, you may be more likely to develop it yourself.
  • Race: African Americans are at a generally higher risk for developing hypertension compared to other races.
  • Unhealthy lifestyle habits: Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet, and lack of physical exercise all contribute to hypertension.

There is a secondary type of hypertension that is caused by underlying medical conditions such as kidney disease, thyroid problems, or sleep apnea. Patients should have a discussion about their medical history with one of our providers to determine if they are at risk for secondary hypertension.

What are the symptoms of hypertension?

As mentioned, there are typically no noticeable symptoms of hypertension. However, in some cases, people may experience headaches, shortness of breath, chest pains, changes in vision, or dizziness. Of course, these symptoms are not necessarily specific to high blood pressure and may be caused by other issues.

How is hypertension treated?

The first line of treatment for hypertension usually involves lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, and adopting a well-balanced diet and exercise routine. If these changes are not enough to lower blood pressure, medication may be prescribed. Our team of providers works with patients to develop personalized treatment plans.

Determine your risk

If you are at risk of hypertension, there is no need to panic. With regular check-ups and healthy lifestyle habits, you can lessen your risk of complications. Our team is dedicated to providing top primary care services to help you maintain your overall well-being.