High blood pressure (hypertension)

High blood pressure

London Medical offers hypertension treatment by leading experts and the latest blood pressure monitors

A quarter of adults in the UK have high blood pressure. Hypertension rarely causes symptoms, but if it isn’t controlled it can put pressure on your organs and increase your risk of having a heart attack or a stroke.

London Medical’s cardiac consultants are world-leaders in cardiovascular disease prevention. The clinic offers state-of-the-art monitors for the diagnosis of hypertension. The specialist multidisciplinary team will check for any cardiac risk factors, support you in making changes to your lifestyle and prescribe treatment to bring down your blood pressure and protect you from disease and disability.

What is high blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within your arteries. It’s recorded in millimetres of mercury and expressed as two numbers separated by a slash.

  • The first, higher number is the systolic pressure. This is the force with which the heart pumps blood around the body.
  • The second, lower number is the diastolic pressure. This is the blood vessels’ resistance to the flow of blood.

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In general, healthy blood pressure is between 90/60mmHg-120/80mmHg. Hypertension may be diagnosed if the blood pressure is 140/90mmHg or higher. For older people, above the age of 80, the blood pressure is considered to be high if is 150/90mmHg or higher.

Normal blood pressure can vary for each individual. In diagnosing and treating hypertension, the specialist consultants at London Medical will consider your health, your cardiac risk factors and the blood pressure that’s normal for you.

Blood pressure testing at London Medical

Blood pressure can be measured using a sphygmomanometer, a simple non-invasive test in which a cuff is wrapped around the upper arm and inflated. However, nerves, the stress of rushing for an appointment or fear of doctors can send your blood pressure soaring.

London Medical offers anyone with suspected hypertension ambulatory blood pressure monitoring or ABPM. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) describes ABPM as:

‘The most accurate method for confirming a diagnosis of hypertension, and its use should reduce unnecessary treatment in people who do not have true hypertension. ABPM has also been shown to be superior to other methods of multiple blood pressure measurement for predicting blood pressure-related clinical events.’

Blood pressure treatment at London Medical

The specialist team at London Medical will work with you to reduce your blood pressure and protect your health and wellbeing. Medication, lifestyle changes and control of other cardiac risk factors can help control hypertension. Your consultant will customise a treatment plan to your needs. This could include:

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Lifestyle changes
Stopping smoking, cutting down on alcohol and caffeine, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and trying to manage stress can all help reduce blood pressure and minimise cardiac risk.

Dietary management
Eating a balanced diet, reducing dietary salt and maintaining a healthy BMI can assist effective blood pressure control.

London Medical offers expert support from many different specialities, all under one roof. Whether you need a personalised weight management programme, nutritional advice or support with giving up smoking, London Medical can help.

Blood pressure medication
London Medical has access to the latest medications to control your blood pressure. The specialist physicians will prescribe the best drug, or combination of treatments, for your individual needs, based on their extensive experience and the latest research evidence. These could include:

  • ACE inhibitors such as enalapril or ramipril
  • Angiotensin-2 receptor blockers or ARBs such as candesartan, losartan and olmesartan
  • Calcium channel blockers such as amlodipine, nifedipine or verapamil
  • Diuretics or ‘water tablets’ such as indapamide or frusemide
  • Beta blockers such as atenolol and propranolo
  • Alpha blockers such as doxazosin

Your consultant will take time to answer all your questions and concerns about medication and will arrange follow-up to monitor your health, blood pressure and any side effects or problems you are experiencing.

Assessment of your risk of developing heart disease
In addition to managing your blood pressure, it’s important to screen for other cardiac risk factors, so that your personal risk of developing heart disease can be reduced.

London Medical offers a range of non-invasive laboratory tests and investigations in the clinic’s state-of-the-art imaging suite. Tests include:

  • Screening for diabetes
  • Comprehensive cholesterol and lipid profile: London Medical provides cutting-edge cholesterol and lipid testing to help assess your risk of cardiac disease. In addition to traditional cholesterol testing, London Medial exclusively offers LDL particle number analysis, one of the most powerful tools for predicting heart attack risk.
  • Carotid artery ultrasound: Scanning the carotid artery in the neck is an effective, low-radiation way of measuring the lining thickness and the size of any fatty plaques. A coronary artery calcium score is also assessed and these results are used in conjunction with the findings from the cholesterol blood tests to provide an overall assessment of personal risk.

Frequently Asked Questions

Anyone can get high blood pressure but there are a number of things that can increase your risk. These include:

  • Increasing age
  • Family history of hypertension
  • Being of African or Caribbean ethnicity
  • High levels of salt in the diet
  • An inactive lifestyle
  • Being obese or overweight
  • Heavy alcohol drinking
  • Smoking
  • Sleep deprivation

Some chronic health conditions can also increase your chance of getting high blood pressure, these include diabetes, kidney disease, thyroid disease and lupus.

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