Heart & Vascular
Hypertension Hypertension


Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is the abnormally elevated force of blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels. When blood pressure is too high (hypertension) it increases the risk for heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

High blood pressure can be inherited, caused by stress or some medications, result from certain medical conditions or come as part of aging. Medicine is effective in controlling high blood pressure and lifestyle changes often reduce it as well.

Living With

A healthy blood pressure is less than 120/80. If your blood pressure is between 120/80 and 140/90, you are considered pre-hypertensive and should talk to a St. Luke’s doctor about ways to lower it. If your blood pressure is more than 140/90, often prescription medications can lower it.


Treatment Options

Hypertension is treated several ways. If necessary, your health care provider will prescribe medication to lower your blood pressure.

While there are many types of medications, there are common “A-B-C-D” treatment medications:

  • ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers relax or widen blood vessels by lessening the effects of a hormone that makes them constrict
  • Beta blockers exert many actions upon the body, including lowering your heart rate
  • Calcium channel blockers relax heart and blood vessel cells by preventing calcium from entering them
  • Diuretics bring blood pressure down by making you eliminate fluid and salt from your body

The specialists at St. Luke’s Heart and Vascular Center work together to find the best treatment options to reduce your high blood pressure.