UAB Medicine

Hypertension Overview

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Hypertension , or high blood pressure of greater than 140/90 mm Hg, increases risk for stroke, heart attack, kidney disease, heart failure and more.

The UAB Medicine Hypertension Clinic provides expert care for difficult-to-treat hypertension. Each physician at the UAB Hypertension Clinic is a Hypertension Specialist as certified by the American Society of Hypertension.

While many forms of hypertension can be treated and managed by a family physician, there are complicated cases of hypertension that have may have uncommon cause and/or benefit from specialized evaluation and treatment.

Risk and Prevention
Hypertension is the most common chronic disease in the United States. The risk of developing hypertension increases with age. Weight gain and lack of physical activity are common factors contributing to the development of hypertension.

Generally, patients are referred to UAB by their primary care doctor or another specialist. Patients at UAB will meet with a hypertension specialist to review their hypertension history, discuss need for special testing and review treatment options.

Treatment is a combined approach of lifestyle changes (exercise, weight loss, low salt diet) and medications. There are many types of blood pressure medications available, most of which are generally well tolerated and many of which are available generically. The most common forms of medication are diuretics, calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors, and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARB).

Hypertension is generally not curable, but with effective lifestyle changes, especially weight loss and ingestion of a low salt diet, medications can sometimes be avoided or used at lower doses.

Once a patient’s hypertension is controlled, they are referred back to their primary physician for continued follow-up.

Clinical Trials
UAB is actively recruiting patients for clinical trials for treating hypertension. If you have questions about eligibility, contact the hypertension research staff at 205-934-9281.

Get Help
If you think you may have hard-to-treat hypertension, talk to your physician about your symptoms and ask if a referral to UAB Heart and Vascular Services may be right for you. Referrals may be made by calling MIST at 1.800.UAB.MIST (1.800.822.6478)

Patients can get more information, by calling UAB Healthfinder at 1.800.UAB.8816 (1.800.822.8816) or by filling out our   Make an Appointment form »