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Hypertension

Hypertension (high blood pressure) means your blood flows too forcefully against the walls of your blood vessels. This can mean the volume of your blood is too great due to extra fluid. It may be because your vessels have become narrowed from fatty deposits (atherosclerosis).

If untreated, high blood pressure damages your blood vessels and heart and can lead to complications such as heart attack, stroke and kidney disease.

There is a strong association between hypertension and coronary artery disease (CAD). Our physicians work with you to manage high blood pressure to prevent narrowing of your arteries. Interventional cardiologists use cardiac catheterization to diagnose CAD. When needed, our experts perform coronary angioplasty to unblock the clogged arteries around your heart. This relieves pain and can lessen damage from a heart attack.

You may be at risk for hypertension if you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, suffer from obstructive sleep apnea or have a family history of the condition. Diabetes can make high blood pressure difficult to control. Our physicians assist you in managing your hypertension along with diabetes. We also are investigating the connections between the two medical conditions through our partnership with the IU School of Medicine Division of Endocrinology.

Being overweight or obese also increases your risk of hypertension. Your heart must pump more blood to deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. When the amount of blood traveling through your blood vessels increases, so does the pressure on your artery walls. In many cases, diet and lifestyle changes—with or without high blood pressure medicines—deliver significant improvements. Outcomes from IU Health bariatric surgery patients show that losing even minimal amounts of weight can lead to reductions in blood pressure.

Because the kidneys contain many blood vessels, hypertension can also cause kidney problems. Controlling your blood pressure can help you to avoid further kidney damage and serious health complications, including kidney (renal) failure. The relationship also works in the other direction—maintaining healthy kidneys can help you avoid hypertension. We have a long history of research and cutting-edge treatments for hypertension and related health conditions. The Indiana University School of Medicine Hypertension Research Center was established and funded by the National Institutes of Health in 1971—work conducted here has lead to a deeper understanding of hypertension and better care for patients.

In some cases, hypertension results from narrowing or blockage of arteries leading to the kidneys. This condition is known as renovascular hypertension. Your kidneys react to the reduced blood flow by producing hormones that cause the body to hold more water and sodium. Identifying and treating renovascular hypertension is especially important to preventing kidney failure. We diagnose the condition using imaging studies, such as ultrasound, angiography and computed tomography (CT), and we provide individualized care to help you avoid kidney failure (end-stage renal disease) and other complications.

You may have high blood pressure for years and not know it, putting you at risk for serious heart and other health problems, including stroke and kidney disease. In fact, hypertension is the No. 1 risk factor for stroke. As a result, physicians at the Indiana University Health Neuroscience Center encourage you to know your risk factors and take action to lower them.

It is important to get regular blood pressure checks, especially as you get older. Even without symptoms, hypertension damages your heart and blood vessels. It can be confusing with all the information available how best to manage your hypertension—we have the expertise and tools to help you manage hypertension, providing you a personalized plan for treatment.

How We Can Help

How We Can Help

Hypertension Treatment Information

We offer treatment for hypertension based on your individual needs. Steps in controlling hypertension and preserving your kidneys include:


Hypertension Locations & Physicians

Use the search options below to find treatments available in your area.

Find a Specialist

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Hypertension Support Services

Resources related to hypertension are available at these websites: