The cause of high blood pressure can vary. It is most often seen in people with certain risk factors. Risk factors typically include age, being overweight or obese, lack of physical activity, and excess alcohol consumption. Some people develop high blood pressure because of genetics, as it does appear to run in families.
A high blood pressure reading is one that is over 140/90 mmHg, the point at which a person is diagnosed as having hypertension. Blood pressure numbers ranging from 120-139/80-89 mm/Hg are medically diagnosed as pre-hypertension. Normal blood pressure readings are 120/80 mmHg or less. Blood pressure readings are always performed during an annual exam.
If high blood pressure is not diagnosed and treated promptly, some serious health problems can result. Artery disease, which in turn may cause stroke or even a heart attack, is possible. Heart disease is another possible result of high blood pressure, including heart failure or enlarged heart.
In many cases, the only way that people find out they have high blood pressure is during a checkup with their medical practitioner. High blood pressure can be especially dangerous because it rarely has obvious symptoms. Since symptoms are not always apparent it is extremely important for patients to see their nurse practitioner on a regular basis. Blood pressure will be checked at each visit. If a patient is diagnosed with high blood pressure, there are a number of things that can be done to get it back into a normal range. This includes not only lifestyle changes like losing weight and exercising more frequently but also prescription medication for those patients who need it.