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High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, occurs when the pressure of blood flowing through your veins is too high. This condition increases your risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart disease.

At the Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Cardiovascular Institute, our specialists offer a variety of treatments for people with hypertension. We’re experts at helping people with severely high blood pressure that is difficult to treat.

What causes high blood pressure?

A blood pressure reading above the normal range of 120/80 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury) is considered to be elevated, or high. Your risk for health problems increases as these numbers go up. These factors can increase your chances of having high blood pressure:

  • Family history: High blood pressure often runs in families.
  • Age: Your risk goes up as you get older.
  • Race: African-Americans are more likely to have severe high blood pressure.
  • Weight: Being overweight or obese strains your heart and ups blood pressure.
  • Alcohol use: Regular, heavy use of alcohol can dramatically raise blood pressure.
  • Diet: A diet high in salt, trans fats, and calories contributes to high blood pressure.
  • Tobacco use: Smoking and other types of tobacco use elevate blood pressure.

Blood pressure care at AHN: Why choose us?

AHN heart experts work with you and your primary care physician to keep your blood pressure in a healthy range. At AHN, you benefit from:

  • Care for complex cases: Doctors across the tri-state area regularly refer people to us for treatment of severe hypertension that hasn’t responded to traditional therapies.
  • Teamwork: You receive care from a team of experts that include nephrologists (kidney experts), endocrinologists (diabetes experts), vascular (artery and vein) specialists, and pharmacists. This team partners with you and your referring physician to manage your blood pressure.
  • Complete heart services: All AHN hospitals provide treatments for high blood pressure. You may also choose to receive care for resistance hypertension that doesn’t respond to treatment at the AHN Hypertension Clinic located at Allegheny General Hospital and West Penn Hospital.

Ways to lower high blood pressure

We specialize in helping people with high blood pressure that is difficult to control. Our treatments include:

  • Medication management: We review your past medical history and work hard to find a medication regimen that helps you. Our pharmacist is available 24/7 to answer questions.
  • Support services: We offer a variety of support services, including:
    • Integrative medicine, such as acupuncture and massage
    • Nutrition services to help you reduce sodium and trans fats in your diet
    • Wellness programs to help manage stress
    • Exercise therapy
    • Smoking cessation programs
  • Home blood pressure monitoring: We get you set up with a home blood pressure device and teach you how to track your numbers at home. When needed, you may use a hospital-issued ambulatory blood pressure machine. This device tracks your blood pressure for 24 hours as you go about your daily life.
  • Treatments for sleep disorders: Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that halts your breathing and raises blood pressure while you sleep. Experts at the AHN Center for Sleep Medicine offer tests and treatments for this sleep problem.
  • Help for weight loss: Experts at the AHN Bariatric and Metabolic Institute offer personalized weight loss plans, as well as weight-loss surgery.

Contact us

Call (412) DOCTORS (412) 362-8677 or request an appointment to learn more about AHN cardiovascular services.