Cardiovascular Services

High Blood Pressure | Hypertension

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is common. About one in three people in Maine has high blood pressure. Hypertension occurs when the force or pressure of the blood against your artery walls is too high.

High blood pressure can lead to serious health problems. But many people do not even know they have high blood pressure, because there are no symptoms.

How do you treat high blood pressure?

MaineHealth takes a multidisciplinary approach to treating high blood pressure, or hypertension. Our primary care doctors, family health care providers and cardiovascular specialists work together to check patients for hypertension, find the cause and give the best treatment.

Treatment may include:

  • Low-salt diet
  • Exercise
  • Lowering stress
  • Quitting smoking
  • Medicine prescribed by your doctor
  • Home blood pressure monitor
Most often there are no symptoms of high blood pressure. Getting regular checkups with your provider is the best way to monitor your blood pressure and know your numbers.

Hypertension risks and health problems

When your blood pressure goes up, your heart works harder to pump blood through your body. High blood pressure can damage your arteries. High blood pressure can cause heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and blindness.

Several things can put you at risk of high blood pressure:

  • Being 55 or older

  • Family history of high blood pressure

  • Being overweight or obese

  • Eating unhealthy foods that are high in fat and salt

  • Smoking tobacco

  • Drinking alcohol

  • Not getting enough exercise

Diagnosing High Blood Pressure

If you are worried about high blood pressure or have high blood pressure problems, contact your primary care doctor or family healthcare provider. A blood pressure check is part of a routine medical exam.

At MaineHealth, our healthcare providers work to diagnose high blood pressure early. We work to help patients lower their blood pressure for the long term.

Next Steps for Patients

While some patients are candidates for self-referral to our cardiovascular specialists, we recommend that you ask your primary care physician for help with the process.

Provider Referrals

If you are a provider who would like to refer a patient for MaineHealth cardiovascular disease prevention services, please review our clinical guidelines and call 207-885-9905.