Overview

Hypertension/High Blood Pressure Care

Hypertension/High Blood Pressure Care

At University of Utah Health, we understand how much high blood pressure (also called hypertension) impacts your health. At the Cardiovascular Center’s Hypertension Clinic, we treat and help patients monitor chronic (or long-lasting) high blood pressure.

As a multi-specialty clinic, we provide you access to specialists from internal medicine, endocrinology, nephrology, vascular surgery, and cardiology to advise you on the best ways to manage your high blood pressure. We also conduct research, which allows us to offer our patients leading-edge advances in hypertension treatments.

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Services

  • Individual evaluation —Our evaluations give you the best options for treating your high blood pressure. We see all kinds of patients, whether you are referred by your primary care doctor or another specialist, or because you have personal concerns about your blood pressure.
  • 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring studies—These studies give doctors the best information about your blood pressure—like if your blood pressure changes at night or surges in the morning. Our blood pressure monitoring studies also provide the most accurate estimate of your true blood pressure.
  • Home blood pressure monitoring training—Your doctors can teach you how to monitor your blood pressure at home or outside of the clinic.

What Is Hypertension/High Blood Pressure?

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Hypertension—also called high blood pressure—is when pressure or force builds up inside your artery walls. When you take your blood pressure at home or at your doctor’s office, the machine is measuring two things:

  1. How much blood your heart is pumping throughout your body
  2. How much your arteries are resisting the flow of blood (because your arteries are narrow, for example).

Your blood pressure will be higher if your arteries are narrow and your heart is pumping more blood.

Over time, if the pressure against your artery walls is too high, it may cause serious problems like heart disease. Most adults’ blood pressure will raise as they get older, but you can work with your doctor to prevent major health problems.

Why Do People Have High Blood Pressure?

People can have high blood pressure for many reasons. For most adults who have high blood pressure, doctors don’t know why. Many adults develop high blood pressure slowly over many years, and this is called primary (or essential) hypertension.

If your doctor does know why you have high blood pressure, this is called secondary hypertension. Secondary hypertension usually happens more quickly than primary hypertension and also causes higher blood pressure. Diseases, conditions, and medications cause secondary hypertension. Causes may include the following:

  • Kidney problems
  • Tumors in your adrenal glands
  • Thyroid problems
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Congenital blood vessel problems
  • Prescription medications including decongestants and birth control pills
  • Over-the-counter medicines like cold and pain medicines
  • Street drugs like amphetamines and cocaine
  • Alcoholism or drinking too much