Medical history for high blood pressure

A medical history for high blood pressure often will include questions about:

  • Any family history of high blood pressure, early heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
  • Age when high blood pressure was first diagnosed.
  • Symptoms of blocked blood vessels to the heart and legs, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or intermittent leg pain during exertion.
  • Symptoms of a transient ischemic attack (TIA), such as weakness or a visual disturbance that lasts for only a few minutes.
  • Any history of other diseases that affect the circulatory system or kidneys.
  • High cholesterol.
  • The amount of salt (sodium), fat, cholesterol, and alcohol in your diet.
  • Your level of activity or exercise.
  • Changes in weight.
  • Use of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines.
  • Use of medicines that may cause high blood pressure, such as birth control pills, steroids, thyroid hormone, decongestants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and some antidepressants (venlafaxine [Effexor]).
  • Use of nonprescription medicines and/or herbal remedies.
  • Potential stress (family situations, employment status, working conditions).
  • Previous testing and treatment of high blood pressure, including whether you have had side effects from certain medicines.

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