Download PDF - American Academy of Family Physicians

O Information
from Your Family Doctor
Treating Newly Diagnosed High
Blood Pressure
Why is it important to treat high blood
Treatment is important because having high
blood pressure increases your risk of heart
attack, stroke, and heart failure.
How is it detected?
Your doctor can measure your blood pressure
with a blood pressure cuff that goes around
your arm.
What causes it?
No one knows for sure. However, the following
factors can increase your risk:
• Older age. Men older than 55 years
and women older than 65 years are at
increased risk.
• Race. Blacks develop high blood pressure
more often than other races.
• A relative with high blood pressure, heart
disease, or stroke.
• Obesity.
• Not getting enough exercise.
• Drinking too much alcohol.
• Using tobacco products.
• Eating an unhealthy diet. Eating foods
that have too much salt (sodium) or not
enough potassium can increase your risk
of high blood pressure.
How is it treated?
Treating high blood pressure starts with making
changes in your lifestyle, such as exercising
more, eating healthier food, and, if necessary,
losing weight and quitting smoking. If your
blood pressure is still too high after you do
these things, you might need to take medicine
to lower your blood pressure. These medicines
need to be taken every day. It is important to get
regular checkups so your doctor can make sure
the medicines are working.
Where can I get more information?
Your doctor
American Heart Association
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
hbp/ and
February 2015
This handout is provided to you by your family doctor and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Other
health-related information is available from the AAFP online at
This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your family doctor to find out if this
information applies to you and to get more information on this subject. Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Family
Physicians. Individuals may photocopy this material for their own personal reference, and physicians may photocopy for use
with their own patients. Written permission is required for all other uses, including electronic uses.
Page 1 of 1