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High Blood Pressure

What is High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure (also called "hypertension") occurs when the pressure in your blood vessels is too high and your heart must work extra hard to move blood through your body.

You may not know that you have high blood pressure, however, when the pressure gets very high, you may experience:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Changes in your vision

How is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed?

High blood pressure is diagnosed using a blood pressure cuff by a doctor. In your community, blood pressure cuffs may also be available in your grocery story of pharmacy. Community health fairs often have blood pressure cuffs, too.

How is High Blood Pressure Treated?

It is important to treat high blood pressure because over time it will cause damage to the heart muscle and other organs in the body.

High blood pressure may be treated by:

  • Diet changes
  • Exercise
  • Medication

Contact Us

If you have hypertension, or think you might, contact one of our family medicine locations to schedule an appointment.

High Blood Pressure: Additional Resources

Visit our patient education website for more information about high blood pressure:

Visit our Health Library for additional information about high blood pressure:

Contact a Family Medicine Health Center

UPMC's Department of Family Medicine has several locations throughout the city of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.

Find a family medicine health center close to you and call us to make an appointment or find out how we can help you with your primary care needs.


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For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

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Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

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