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24 Jan 2012
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Blood pressure is defined as the pressure of blood in the circulatory system, relating to rate of heartbeat. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, means that the heart is having to work harder to pump blood around the body.

High blood pressure can result in conditions such as kidney failure, stroke, heart aneurysm and failure occur.



Risk factors for high blood pressure include:

  • Living a sedentary lifestyle
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Stress
  • Eating a diet high in sodium
  • Family history
  • Aging
  • Chronic illness


  • Persistent headache
  • Blurry vision
  • Double vision
  • Nosebleeds
  • Shortness of breath



Treatment for high blood pressure can include:

  • Cutting salt intake
  • Eating a healthy and balanced diet
  • Cutting down on alcohol consumption
  • Regular exercise
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Losing weight
  • Drinking less coffee
  • Relaxation techniques and therapies
  • Identifying underlying illnesses


  • Eating a healthy and balanced, low-fat diet
  • Cut down on salt intake
  • Cut down on alcohol intake
  • Cut down on coffee/caffeine intake
  • Avoid smoking
  • Regular exercise
  • Relaxation techniques and therapies



If you have any of the above symptoms consult your general practitioner.




Video: High Blood Pressure Facts




Heart Foundation NZ



Best Health BMJ – High Blood Pressure
NHS – Blood Pressure



Journal of the American Medical Association
British Medical Journal
The Lancet



eHealthForum – High Blood Pressure
Personal Blood Pressure Log – Forum



The information above is of a general nature and is designed to provide you with an overview of the topic, with links to local and international resources that may be of interest.  We do our best to ensure that this information is accurate and up to date.

You should always, however, seek specific professional medical advice, treatment and care appropriate to you, and as such we strongly recommend you consult with your general practitioner first.



Updated April 2012
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons – High Blood Pressure