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If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your heart, blood vessels and other organs such as the eyes, kidneys and eyes. Chronic (long-term) high blood pressure can increase your risk of several potentially life-threatening health conditions. It is important to follow your doctor's instructions correctly. 


There are certain things that can increase the risk of getting high blood pressure.

You might be more at risk if you:

  • Have relatives with high blood pressure

  • Don’t get enough exercise 

  • Consume a lot of salt and not enough vegetables 

  • Are overweight

  • Live a sedentary life

  • Are over the age of 65

  • Consume too much alcohol 


When blood pressure is uncontrolled for a long time, certain complications can develop later in life. Some of these are more serious than others. Even reducing your blood pressure by a small amount can help lower the risk of developing complications such as:

  • Heart disease

  • Heart attacks 

  • Strokes

  • Heart failure

  • Kidney disease

The only way of knowing whether your blood pressure is high is by measuring it.

If you have any of the risk factors its best to regularly monitor your blood pressure. You can get your blood pressure tested at:

  • Your doctor's office

  • Your local pharmacy

  • Home - you can purchase your own blood pressure machine and monitor it yourself 

Keep your blood pressure at a safe level by making lifestyle changes as well as taking your prescribed medication. Talk to your doctor if you need help with this. 

This is what you can do to lower your risk of developing complications:

  • Reduce the amount of salt you consume and follow a generally healthy diet

  • Cut back on alcohol

  • Exercise regular

  • Quit smoking, or at least cut down

  • Reduce the amount of caffeine you consume

If you are already diagnosed, take your medication as prescribed by your doctor. Attend all your follow-up visits and take control of your health. Never stop your medication without discussing it with your doctor first, even if you feel well.


Written by Dr Ruusa Shivute | Health Window

Reference: Whelton PK, Carey RM, Aronow WS, et al. 2017 ACC/AHA/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/AGS/APhA/ASH/ASPC/NMA/PCNA Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults: A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines. Hypertension 2018; 71:e13.

March 4, 2021 |  Categories: Health WindowHigh Blood Pression / Hypertension

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