High Blood Pressure
How well is your health care professional doing at helping you manage your high blood pressure? According to the studies, not too well. Physicians tend to significantly overestimate how well their patients manage their high blood pressure; wait too long to recommend medication (and even then often don't prescribe it according to national guidelines); and suggest lifestyle changes to fewer than half their patients with high blood pressure.
Even if you make all recommended lifestyle changes to reduce your blood pressure, it may remain high (although not as high as if you didn't make any changes!). That's when medication is needed. There are currently seven primary classes of blood pressure lowering medications, as shown below. You may need to take more than one drug. Studies find that most people with hypertension need at least two medications to bring their blood pressure into line.
When I read about young athletes dying suddenly from a heart problem, I wonder if I should have my teenaged sons tested. Is there such a test? Our family has a history of heart disease.