What is Stage 2 Hypertension?

There are Various Medicines to Treat Stage 2 Hypertension

Checking a patient’s blood pressure.
Checking a patient’s blood pressure. Robert Llewellyn/Getty Images

Stage 2 hypertension, also known as late high blood pressure or severe high blood pressure, is generally characterized by a systolic blood pressure value of greater than 159 mmHg, or a diastolic blood pressure value of 99 mmHg. Stage 2 hypertension indicates you have moderate to severe high blood pressure.Treatment guidelines allow for much less flexibility in the initial approach to Stage 2 Hypertension, and those diagnosed at this stage are usually started on anti-hypertension medicines immediately.

Stage 2 Hypertension, which is a very serious form of high blood pressure, also requires more frequent blood pressure checks and a high level of careful monitoring.

Anyone with Stage 2 Hypertension should seek immediate treatment.

The Two Stages of Hypertension

Staging of hypertension refers to the severity of your high blood pressure reading. There are two stages: Stage 1 and Stage 2.

There is a system that physicians use to stage high blood pressure that is based simply on the systolic and diastolic numbers, found in your blood pressure reading:

  • The systolic number is a measurement of your blood pressure while your heart pumps blood, and is the number that appears on the top of the equation.
  • The diastolic number is a blood pressure measurement while your heart rests between beats, and it is the number that appears on the bottom of the equation.

Treatment for Stage 2 Hypertension

Some types of medications used to treat Stage 2 hypertension are:

  • ACE inhibitors allow blood vessels to widen by preventing angiotensin, a hormone, from forming. ACE inhibitors include: lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), enalapril (Vasotec), and ramipril (Altace).
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers help blood vessels relax by blocking the action of angiotensin and allowing blood vessels to relax. Angiotensin II receptor blockers include: losartan (Cozaar), candesartan (Atacand) and valsartan (Diovan).
  • Beta blockers block certain nerve and hormone signals to the heart and blood vessels to lower blood pressure. Beta blockers include: metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), atenolol (Tenormin), and nadolol (Corgard).
  • Calcium channel blockers prevent calcium from going into heart and blood vessel. Calcium channel blockers include amlodipine (Norvasc), diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor XR) and nifedipine (Adalat CC, Procardia).
  • Renin inhibitors slow down the production of renin, which is an enzyme produced by your kidneys that increases blood pressure.

Your physician may also suggest a variety of lifestyle changes, including:

  • Quit smoking.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products.
  • Limit salt in your diet.
  • Limit alcohol intake. For most adults, this means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men over the age of 65, and up to two drinks a day for men 65 years old or younger.
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes per day. This includes walking, jogging, strength training, yoga or a cardio workout like cycling.

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    The Mayo Clinic, www.mayoclinic.org, High Blood Pressure (hypertension).

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