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If you have high blood pressure, you need to take action to bring it down. This may not mean taking blood pressure medications right away. Your doctor or nurse may prefer that you make some healthy lifestyle changes at first.
However, lifestyle changes may not lower your blood pressure enough on their own. If this is the case, then your doctor or nurse may decide that you also need to take blood pressure medicines.
Whether you need to take medications or not also depends on your overall risk of heart disease, stroke or other health problems. Other factors as well as high blood pressure increase your risk, such as if:
- you have high cholesterol
- you smoke
- you have diabetes or kidney disease
- you have a family history of high blood pressure
- you have any other medical condition that could affect the health of your heart or blood vessels.
If any of these factors apply to you, your doctor or nurse may decide you need to take blood pressure medicines sooner rather than later. By lowering your blood pressure, you are lowering your overall risk of heart disease and stroke.