Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is very common in the community, affecting about one third of people and doctors usually refer to it as “Hypertension” (although it doesn't mean your doctor thinks that you are hyper tense!). The main reason doctors are worried about high blood pressure is that if it remains high in the long-term it can cause heart disease, kidney disease, stroke disease and eye disease. The causes of high blood pressure are varied and many people have high blood pressure just because of their genetic make up, but it can also be caused by medications, unhealthy lifestyle and underlying medical conditions. Treatments include a range of lifestyle approaches such as exercise, losing weight, not smoking and decreasing salt intake. There are also a range of medications that your doctor will talk about with you, each with their own pros and cons. Ultimately high blood pressure is usually thought about not in isolation but as part of a person's absolute cardiac risk which takes account of things like their family history, their ancestry, whether they smoke or not and whether they have diabetes.