High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension, is a common problem affecting millions of people. It is equally common in men and women, however, women tend to note a bigger increase in blood pressure in the post-menopausal years compared to men of the same age.

The majority of individuals who develop hypertension do so without a specific cause. Hypertension can sometimes run in families. Therefore, individuals with other relatives with high blood pressure should be screened at a young age and frequently thereafter.

Hypertension often has no symptoms and has thus been referred to as "the silent killer." Symptoms of severely elevated blood pressure, may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Vision changes

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of hypertension is made by measuring the pressure with a blood pressure cuff. This measurement is routinely performed by a nurse or doctor. Two measurements are made when the blood pressure is measured. The systolic blood pressure is the top number in the blood pressure reading and represents the pressure generated when the heart beats. The diastolic pressure is the bottom number in the blood pressure reading and represents the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart is at rest. Your blood pressure measurements are used to determine if you hypertension or pre-hypertension.

  • Hypertension: Hypertension is present when the systolic pressure is consistently over 140 mmHg or the diastolic pressure is over 90 mmHg.
  • Pre-hypertension: Pre-hypertension is present when the systolic pressure is consistently between 120–139 mmHg or the diastolic pressure is between 80–89 mmHg in multiple readings. Individuals with pre-hypertension are also at risk for heart disease and stroke, so lifestyle changes are very important at this stage. Many people with pre-hypertension will go on to develop hypertension.

Treatment

Treatment of hypertension includes:

  • A low-salt diet
  • An exercise program
  • Weight loss
  • Blood pressure medications if lifestyle changes do not work

Untreated hypertension can be dangerous and can cause:

Six niche centers within Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute offer patient focused, specialized care, making Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute a leading destination for both initial diagnoses and second opinions. These niche programs include physicians, nurses and a range of multidisciplinary specialists working with patients to navigate the complex health care system, ensuring continuity of care and a seamless shift from inpatient to outpatient services and ultimately home.

Contact Us
To schedule an appointment or inquire about services at Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, please call 312.NM.HEART (664.3278).

Cardiovascular Clinical Trials
For information regarding cardiovascular clinical trials:

Referring Physicians
Open communication and cooperation with referring physicians is a critical component of achieving high-quality care and minimizing the challenges that come with treating cardiovascular conditions. For physician-to-physician consultation regarding the best patient care, please contact Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at 312.NM.HEART (664.3278).

Six niche centers within Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute offer patient focused, specialized care, making Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute a leading destination for both initial diagnoses and second opinions. These niche programs include physicians, nurses and a range of multidisciplinary specialists working with patients to navigate the complex health care system, ensuring continuity of care and a seamless shift from inpatient to outpatient services and ultimately home.

Contact Us
To schedule an appointment or inquire about services at Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, please call 847.53.HEART (534.3278).

Cardiovascular Clinical Trials
For information regarding cardiovascular clinical trials:


Six niche centers within Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute offer patient focused, specialized care, making Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute a leading destination for both initial diagnoses and second opinions. These niche programs include physicians, nurses and a range of multidisciplinary specialists working with patients to navigate the complex health care system, ensuring continuity of care and a seamless shift from inpatient to outpatient services and ultimately home.

Contact Us
To schedule an appointment or inquire about services at Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital or Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, please call 630.232.0280

Cardiovascular Clinical Trials
For information regarding cardiovascular clinical trials:


Six niche centers within Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute offer patient focused, specialized care, making Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute a leading destination for both initial diagnoses and second opinions. These niche programs include physicians, nurses and a range of multidisciplinary specialists working with patients to navigate the complex health care system, ensuring continuity of care and a seamless shift from inpatient to outpatient services and ultimately home.

Contact Us
To schedule an appointment or inquire about services at Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Medicine Central Kishwaukee Hospital, please call 815.748.5844

Cardiovascular Clinical Trials
For information regarding cardiovascular clinical trials:
Clinical trials conducted at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital: visit Clinical Trials Unit of Northwestern, send an email or call 312.926.4000.

Clinical trials conducted at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital, Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital and Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital: visit Northwestern Medicine Office of Research  or call 630.933.6528.



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