A group of friends raising a toast to heart health

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is a common condition. About one in three adults in the U.S. has high blood pressure, or hypertension. And nearly one out of three adults has prehypertension—blood pressure numbers that are higher than normal, but not yet in the high blood pressure range—which raises the risk of developing high blood pressure.

It is a serious condition that we all must be more conscious of as we age. High blood pressure is a leading cause of several serious health conditions, including:

  • Heart attack

  • Heart failure

  • Kidney disease

  • Stroke 

Symptoms of high blood pressure

Many people have no symptoms of high blood pressure until it has caused significant organ damage. This is why it is known as "the silent killer."

It is important to have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis at your annual physical and more often if you have significant risk factors.

Know your blood pressure numbers

According to guidelines followed by doctors, blood pressure is normal if it is 120/80 or below. The range of 120/80 to 139/89, which was once classified as normal to high, is now considered to be prehypertensive.

If your blood pressure falls in the prehypertensive range, it may quickly develop into high blood pressure, or 140/90 or above. Modifying your lifestyle may lower blood pressure for anyone with a reading above 120/80.

If you have added risk factors such as being overweight or having high blood sugar or cholesterol, the concern is even greater. Even though you may not have any symptoms, high blood pressure increases your risk for cardiovascular disease.

Since cardiovascular disease is the cause of death for one out of every three Americans, any evidence of high blood pressure is cause for concern. If your doctor tells you that you have high blood pressure, talk to him or her about what you can do to lower it. 

What is resistant hypertension?

What happens if you have made lifestyle changes and you are taking medication, but your blood pressure is still above normal? Doctors call this resistant hypertension.

Resistant hypertension occurs in about 20 to 30 percent of people with high blood pressure. Some common causes include:     

  • Uncontrolled risk factors. Poor control of risk factors such as obesity and diabetes can contribute to resistant hypertension.

  • Not taking medications as directed. Failure to take medication on schedule or stopping medication without a doctor's approval can cause blood pressure to go up.

  • Alcohol and salt intake. Many people with resistant high blood pressure are not controlling their intake of salt and alcohol.

  • Effects of other drugs. Over-the-counter pain relievers, decongestants and some herbal compounds can interfere with blood pressure control.

  • Other health conditions. Medical conditions such as sleep apnea and diseases of the adrenal glands or kidneys can cause resistant high blood pressure.

If you are having trouble controlling your blood pressure, our program can help you better manage risk factors. Our experts may perform additional tests to make sure there are no other medical conditions contributing to your high blood pressure.     

Resistant Hypertension Clinic

At The Christ Hospital Resistant Hypertension Clinic, our multidisciplinary team strives to appropriately identify, educate and control high blood pressure (hypertension) in individuals with resistant hypertension. This is accomplished through a holistic, comprehensive and multi-faceted approach designed to improve each patient's quality of life. 

Patients at our resistant hypertension clinic have access to a team of the most qualified cardiology and nephrology specialists, designated as Certifed Hypertension Center by the American Heart Association. Our program is one of the few hypertension centers in the nation with this distinction.

Combined with patient education programs, our holistic approach targets every aspect of wellness to allow people to live uninhibited by hypertension issues, and evaluates secondary causes that can range from sleep apnea and chronic kidney disease to hyperparathyroidism.

Why choose The Christ Hospital Health Network

If you experience symptoms of high blood pressure, or if you have already been diagnosed, you will find the care and support you need at The Christ Hospital Health Network, Greater Cincinnati's leader in cardiovascular care. The Christ Hospital continually researches new techniques for treating high blood pressure.

  • Gold Plus distinction​. The Christ Hospital has been awarded the highest level of recognition from the American Heart Association for our commitment to improving blood pressure control rates.  

  • Top 50 Heart Hospital. The Christ Hospital has been named one of America's 50 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Surgery by HealthGrades and one of the World's Best Hospitals for Cardiology by Newsweek.

  • Specialized expertise. We offer the most extensive expertise across the spectrum of heart and vascular care. Our doctors are known leaders in cardiovascular care and are focused by specific conditions. 

  • Treatment options.   Our patients benefit from a wider range of personalized treatment options than at many other hospitals. We take a progressive approach to resistant hypertension treatment.

  • Clinical research.  Our doctors have developed many new techniques in cardiovascular medicine over the past 20 years. Patients have access to treatments not found at many other hospitals.

  • Heart and vascular support groups.  For patients with heart-related conditions, we offer education and support. We encourage you share your experiences to learn how to live your healthiest life.

Please call 866-242-5358 to schedule an appointment with a high blood pressure expert.