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The 4 Stages of Hypertension

March 18, 2024

The 4 Stages of Hypertension

What is hypertension? Hypertension, or high blood pressure, occurs when your blood moves through your arteries at a higher pressure than usual. This pressure depends upon the resistance of the blood vessels and how hard the heart has to work. Hypertension can lead to severe health complications and will increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, heart failure, and/or kidney disease. Almost half of all adults in the United States have high blood pressure. Many of these adults are not even aware of their hypertension. 

Stage One of Hypertension 

This first stage of the four stages of hypertension is referred to as the “normal” stage. A person’s systolic will be at less than 130 mm Hg and their diastolic will be less than 80 mm Hg. At this point, a person will not require treatment, as their blood pressure is normal. It is important, however, to monitor the blood pressure to ensure that it is staying normal. 

Stage Two of Hypertension 

This stage is referred to as prehypertension. Systolic will be between 130 and 139 mm Hg and diastolic will be between 80 and 89 mm Hg. Prehypertension is exactly what it sounds like, the stage before someone crosses into hypertension. A person who is at stage two of hypertension is at risk for developing high blood pressure, but still has a chance to avoid it.

At this stage, a person has some risk of experiencing heart disease or a stroke. Medication is typically not used at this point because it hasn’t been proven to help against potential strokes or heart disease at this stage. However, a person should still try to make lifestyle changes to avoid hypertension. This could mean quitting smoking or changing the way you eat. Exercise is a great way of lowering your blood pressure, as is trying the DASH diet. 

Stage Three of Hypertension 

Stage three of hypertension is actually referred to as “stage 1.” Systolic is between 140 and 159 mm Hg and diastolic is between 90 and 99 mm Hg. A person at stage 1 is in danger of a variety of health complications due to moderate hypertension. At this point, a person would be expected to try medication to reduce their blood pressure and risk of heart disease and/or stroke. These drugs include ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, beta blockers, thiazide diuretics, and calcium channel blockers. They would also be expected to make diet and lifestyle changes. 

Stage Four of Hypertension 

Stage four is known as “stage 2” hypertension. Systolic is at 160 mm Hg or higher and diastolic is at 100 mm Hg or higher. At this point, a person’s hypertension would be classified as severe. Due to this, they would most likely be recommended a two-drug therapy to try and bring their blood pressure down.  A person at stage 2 hypertension is at high risk for coronary heart disease, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. You will have to have your blood pressure checked regularly and follow a strict regimen that will likely include dietary changes, exercise, and lifestyle changes.  

Are You At Risk With Hypertension? 

Are you wondering if your blood pressure is high? Are you aware of your high blood pressure and looking to change it? BASS Primary Care is here for you! With our services, we are not only able to check your blood pressure, but help you determine if you need to make lifestyle changes or consider medication to help lower it. If you are in the Walnut Creek area and looking for medical assistance, look to BASS Primary Care for help.

At BASS Primary Care Walk-in Clinic, it's Your Health, Your Schedule.