- High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Slideshow
- Take the Salt Quiz!
- Lowering Blood Pressure Exercise Tips Pictures
- Patient Comments: High Blood Pressure Treatment - Experience
- Patient Comments: High Blood Pressure Treatment - Smoking
- Patient Comments: High Blood Pressure Treatment - Coffee and Caffeine
- Patient Comments: High Blood Pressure Treatment - Medications
- Find a local Internist in your town
- What is high blood pressure (hypertension)?
- Which lifestyle modifications are beneficial in treating high blood pressure?
- Coffee and caffeinated beverages
- Other dietary considerations
- Exercise and stress reduction
- How is high blood pressure treated?
- Starting treatment for high blood pressure
- Treatment with combinations of drugs for high blood pressure
- Emergency treatment for high blood pressure
- Treatment during pregnancy
- Which medications are used to treat high blood pressure?
- Beta blockers
- Calcium channel blockers (CCBs)
- Alpha blockers
- Renin inhibitors
- Aldosterone blockers
- Combining agents
- What about the patient's compliance with medication regimens?
- Is alternative medicine used to treat high blood pressure?
- What are the complications of high blood pressure?
- Can high blood pressure be prevented?
- What's new in high blood pressure?
Quick GuideHigh Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Warning Signs, Risks, Medications
Can high blood pressure be prevented?
High blood pressure can sometimes be prevented if individuals follow a healthy lifestyle and:
Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can make a person two to six times more likely to develop high blood pressure.
Get regular exercise. Physically active people have up to a 50% lower risk of getting high blood pressure than people who are not active.
Reduce salt intake. Less than 4 grams per day is the goal.
Drink alcohol in moderation, or not at all. Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure. If a person drinks alcohol, they should limit it to no more than two drinks a day.
Reduce stress. Stress can raise blood pressure.
What's new in high blood pressure?
A novel approach to hypertension treatment has been found by studying a hormone that controls insect growth. Butterfly researchers identified and characterized epoxide hydrolase, an enzyme involved in a critical pathway in the breakdown of anti-inflammatory arachidonate metabolites called EETs, or epoxyeicosatrienoic acids. Other researchers found that inhibiting the breakdown of EETs reduced blood pressure in rodents. This newly discovered enzyme also reduced vascular inflammation and end-organ damage, the long-term effects of high blood pressure.
The oral form of the enzyme developed in this study, currently in clinical trials, reduced the most common type of high blood pressure in middle-aged individuals. Pharmaceutical companies in several countries have initiated programs using this enzyme to treat high blood pressure, inflammation, diabetes, pain, and other disorders.
A surgical procedure also is being tested in other countries to lower high blood pressure. The procedure involves disrupting the nerves to the kidney. A large trial of this did not demonstrate benefit in lowering blood pressure.
Medically reviewed by Robert J. Bryg, MD; Board Certified Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Cardiovascular Disease
Cunha, John P. "Cardene IV Side Effects Center." RxList. 4 Mar. 2011.
Cunha, John P. "Tekturna Side Effects Center." RxList. 2 May 2012.
Imig, J. D., et al. "An orally active epoxide hydrolase inhibitor lowers blood pressure and provides renal protection in salt-sensitive hypertension." Hypertension46.4 (2005): 975-981.
Krum, H., et al. "Catheter-based renal sympathetic denervation for resistant hypertension: a multicentre safety and proof-of-principle cohort study." Lancet 373.9671 (2009): 1275-1281.
Materson, B. J. and R. A. Preston. "Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors in hypertension. A dozen years of experience." Archives of Internal Medicine 154.5 (1994): 513-523.
Stier Jr., C. T. "Eplerenone: a selective aldosterone blocker." Cardiovascular Drug Reviews 21.3 (2003): 169-184.
"Classification of Overweight and Obesity by BMI, Waist Circumference, and Associated Disease Risks." National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. 11 Oct. 2012.
"FDA Drug Safety Communication: New Warning and Contraindication for blood pressure medicines containing aliskiren (Tekturna)." U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 20 Apr. 2012.
"Inspra." RxList. 23 July 2012.
"Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC)." NIH.
"Understanding Your Risk for High Blood Pressure." American Heart Association. 27 Aug. 2012.
"Your Guide to Lowering Your Blood Pressure With DASH." National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. April 2006.