High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a major cardiovascular risk factor. As a result, hypertension can cause heart attack and stroke. It is particularly important because it usually causes no symptoms. Blood pressure should be measured periodically in adults as part of a structured cardiovascular screening and risk reduction program.

Treatment of blood pressure will involve a healthy lifestyle and may involve drug therapy. There are many drugs available to treat blood pressure and an effective, well tolerated drug or combination can be identified for most patients. There are also a number of non-drug procedures which can reduce blood pressure using nerve block techniques including a procedure called renal denervation which works by interrupting the nerves accompanying the arteries to the kidneys and is currently under investigation for patients in whom drug therapy is not effective.

When investigating hypertension in the clinic your cardiologist will need to take a history and perform a physical examination. In addition they will want to perform some tests which will often include blood tests, a chest x-ray, ECG and echocardiogram as well as an ambulatory blood pressure monitor which usually gives a clearer picture than individual readings.

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute

The treatment strategy for any individual cardiac risk factor should always take into account whether it is in the context of primary or secondary prevention, other risk factors, and overall patient risk. Appropriate management of cardiovascular risk factors should be seen as an investment in future health.

Many sets of guidelines exist on cardiovascular prevention however, Dr Dalby will discuss these tests, their implications and any subsequent tests, treatment or follow up with you so that you may reach a mutually agreeable management plan.