Do I need medication?
The reason why lowering your blood pressure is important, is that hypertension is a risk factor for future cardiovascular disease.
However the risk of cardiovascular disease is not only affected by blood pressure and it is not just your blood pressure level that determines if you need medication. Your doctor will assess the overall weight of other risk factors such as sex, age, smoking, diabetes, blood fat levels and obesity. It is also improtant that you tell if you have any close relatives with cardiovascular disease or hypertension, or if you have had a previous heart attack or stroke.
For example, a middle-aged woman who has a slightly elevated blood pressure but no other risk factors can usually wait without taking any drugs. However if she had also had diabetes and history of a heart attack, she would require more intensive blood pressure treatment.
You should always discuss with your doctor if and when it is time to start medication. Also make sure you continue with the lifestyle changes that the doctor recommends, as the combination between improved lifestyle plus medication has proven particularly beneficial.