Advanced hypertension: Innovative treatment and prevention

UW Health is recognized as one of only 24 American Heart Association-certified Comprehensive HTN centers in the United States and the only one in Wisconsin. We are nationally recognized leaders in evaluating, diagnosing and treating high blood pressure.


What is advanced hypertension?

Hypertension is commonly referred to as "high blood pressure."

Blood pressure measures how hard the blood pushes against the walls of your arteries as it moves through your body. Your blood pressure naturally changes with your daily activities.

If your blood pressure stays high, even when you rest, you have hypertension.

High blood pressure can damage your blood vessels, heart, kidneys and brain. This damage can cause:

  • Heart attack

  • Heart failure

  • Kidney failure

  • Stroke

  • Dementia

Meet our team

Expert care

The hypertension experts at UW Health provide collaborative, comprehensive care. We help you manage your hypertension to prevent more serious cardiovascular and kidney conditions.

Your care team may include:

  • Cardiologists

  • Endocrinologists

  • Exercise physiologists

  • Nephrologists

  • Nutritionists

  • Nurses

  • Obstetricians

  • Preventive cardiologists

  • Psychologists

  • Radiologists

  • Vascular surgeons

Symptoms and diagnosis

Hypertension symptoms

Most people with high blood pressure don’t feel symptoms right away. However, hypertension can create serious risks for cardiovascular and kidney disease.

Symptoms of high blood pressure that may require immediate treatment can include:

  • Chest discomfort

  • Headaches

  • Heart palpitations

  • Shortness of breath

  • Vision changes

You may need to see an advanced hypertension specialist if you have:

  • Difficult to treat hypertension

    • Multiple medications (3 or more)

    • Unable to tolerate medications

  • Early or progressive heart or kidney disease

  • Hypertension at a young age (18-40 years old)

  • Hypertension with multiple cardiovascular disease risk factors

  • Rapidly accelerating hypertension

  • Suspected secondary causes of hypertension

Diagnosing hypertension

Hypertension can be challenging to diagnose in some people.

Masked hypertension occurs when your blood pressure is normal at the doctor’s office but high at home.

White coat hypertension happens when your blood pressure is elevated at the doctor’s office but normal at home.

Your doctor may recommend routine home blood pressure monitoring or 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring to refine your diagnosis.


Options to help you maintain your health

At UW Health, we create a treatment plan designed to reduce your blood pressure and keep it in a healthy range. We also talk with you and your family to make sure you fully understand high blood pressure.

Your treatment options and lifestyle changes may include:

  • Following a low sodium, heart-healthy eating plan, such as the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop hypertension) diet

  • Home blood pressure monitoring

  • Limiting alcohol intake

  • Maintaining a healthy weight

  • Medicines to manage high blood pressure

  • Quitting smoking

  • Regular exercise and physical activity


Convenient locations

Our cardiovascular medicine specialists provide care at locations close to home equipped to manage your symptoms. We offer the specialized care you need when you need it.