Jefferson University Hospitals

High Blood Pressure

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Having high blood pressure can be the result of your family history or a result of lifestyle issues. Either way, high blood pressure is a serious condition that can lead to coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke and other serious health problems.

Symptoms of high blood pressure, which can include dizziness, chest pains and an irregular heartbeat, can be easy to ignore. Or you may experience no symptoms at all. That is why it is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly so that it can be controlled.

While making changes so that you have a healthier diet and increasing the amount of exercise you do can help control this condition, medication may also be needed.

With an emphasis on the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease, Family Medicine physicians at Jefferson Health will help to manage your blood pressure. Our physicians will identify and manage the risk factors and show you the best way to maintain healthy blood pressure, such as exercising regularly, reducing stress and giving up smoking.

Types of High Blood Pressure

Primary – also called essential hypertension, this type does not have any symptoms and is the most common form of hypertension

Secondary – this form of hypertension can be controlled and is often caused by kidney disease, medications, sleep apnea, adrenal gland tumors, or thyroid problems

Resistant – when blood pressure remains at too high a level after being treated with three medications

Isolated Systolic – mostly seen in elderly patients, this type of hypertension occurs when systolic pressure is above 140 and diastolic pressure remains normal

Malignant – this rare type of hypertension, which occurs when blood pressures rises at an extremely fast pace, is the most dangerous and should be treated by a medical professional right away

White Coat Hypertension – occurs when nerves and anxiety affect a person's blood pressure reading when visiting a doctor's office and cause blood pressure levels to rise when the levels would usually be normal