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HTN/COPD Symptoms & Diagnosis


According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure, or hypertension, is a largely symptomless condition.  In a hypertensive crisis (a systolic (top number) blood pressure of 180 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or higher or a diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure of 120 mm Hg or higher), symptoms such as severe headache or shortness of breath may become apparent. Research has shown that routinely checking blood pressure at home in addition to regular monitoring in a healthcare provider's office may result in better diagnosis and management of hypertension.


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) symptoms develop slowly and can gradually worsen over time. Oftentimes, those with a nagging cough or difficulty breathing accept their symptoms as part of getting older without realizing they actually have COPD. Common COPD symptoms include constant or mucus-producing coughing (often referred to as “smoker’s cough”), wheezing and shortness of breath. These symptoms typically precede the development of airflow limitation by many years.

The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) has categorized COPD patients into four categories in order to more accurately diagnose and treat the illness. In addition to evaluating symptoms, doctors perform a simple breathing test called spirometry to aid in diagnosis.


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