Overview

What is Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)?

Hypertension is characterised by persistently high pressure in the arteries that can eventually cause damage to organs such as the kidneys, brain, eyes and heart. It is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease and it is important to detect and treat hypertension early.

Symptoms

What are the signs of Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)?

Most people with high blood pressure have no signs or symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels. A few people with high blood pressure may have headaches, shortness of breath or nosebleeds, but these signs and symptoms aren't specific and usually don't occur until high blood pressure has reached a severe or life-threatening stage.

Causes

What are the causes of Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)?

Although it may be challenging to identify the cause, there are several things that may increase the risk of developing hypertension. These include:

Overweight and obesity

Overweight and obesity

Lack of physical activity

Lack of physical activity

Smoking

Smoking

Excessive alcohol intake

Excessive alcohol intake

Excessive dietary salt (sodium) intake

Excessive dietary salt (sodium) intake

Use of oral contraceptives (rarely)

Use of oral contraceptives (rarely)

Use of drugs such as steroids, cocaine and amphetamines

Use of drugs such as steroids, cocaine and amphetamines

Diagnosis

How do I know if I have Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)?

To diagnose hypertension, your doctor is likely to ask you about your medical and family history and/ or request the following tests:

Blood pressure measurement

Blood pressure measurement

Find a Practitioner

See a list of practitioners who specialise in treating Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)