Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a condition in which the blood in a person’s body exerts excessive pressure against the vessel walls. Though there are several known risk factors such as family history, obesity, and kidney disease that may contribute to high blood pressure, one of the difficulties in properly treating the disease is the lack of identifiable causes in the majority of cases. Also troubling is that, for many people, hypertension may cause no symptoms, so it often goes unrecognized and untreated.

The Hypertension Clinic at the Heart and Vascular Center is one of the few clinics to specialize in the evaluation and treatment of difficult hypertension cases that have not responded adequately to treatment in the past. Each patient is evaluated individually in a process that includes an in-depth search for potential secondary causes that may not have been uncovered before.

Our hypertension specialists establish a diagnosis and search for other cardiovascular risk factors such as high cholesterol using the full resources of the Heart and Vascular Center. The diagnostic process may include lab tests, home or ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, ultrasound, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), or CT (computed tomography) scans, among others. After that, a treatment program will be prescribed that may include lifestyle changes and medications.

UNC also does extensive research on heart and vascular conditions in clinical trials. In return for their cooperation, patients are evaluated and treated without charge. The Hypertension Clinic, in collaboration with interventional cardiology specialists at UNC, is currently involved in a clinical trial evaluating the narrowing or blockage of blood vessels that supply the kidneys (renal artery stenosis) as a cause of secondary hypertension.

Contact Us

Call the Heart & Vascular Center referral line at 866-862-4327 to find specialists, make an appointment or learn more about preventing heart disease.

Open Access is a new physician referral service, created by the UNC Center for Heart & Vascular Care, which coordinates all admissions and transfers through a single phone call and guarantees immediate acceptance for patients. Please contact us to learn more or call 866-862-4327.

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