Can I Still Get Heart Disease if I Take Blood Pressure Medication?

Ask the experts

I have high blood pressure and kidney problems, but I manage it carefully with blood pressure medication. I heard I still run a risk for heart disease because my BP is high - is this true? If so how can I prevent this from happening?

Doctor's response

High blood pressure is like high cholesterol and smoking - they are "modifiable" risk factors, meaning that controlling them will help in limiting your risk of developing coronary artery disease (CAD). If high blood pressure is controlled well with medication, diet, and exercise, that decreases the risk of CAD. What's very important however, is how long a person has undiagnosed high blood pressure before it is treated; the more years a person goes with undetected high blood pressure, the greater the risk that coronary and other vascular disease may have developed. This can be easily assessed by a cardiologist using non-invasive diagnostic tests.

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Last Editorial Review: 8/28/2017
References
Medically reviewed by Robert Bargar, MD; Board Certification in Public Health & General Preventive Medicine

REFERENCE:

"Overview of hypertension in adults"
UpToDate.com
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