(Science Photo Library, Getty Images) Lea en español Blood pressure is more than just numbers your doctor writes on a chart. To explain it, Dr. Shawna Nesbitt, medical director of the Hypertension Clinic at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, talks about plumbing. Think of blood vessels as pipes in a house, she said. Those pipes feed…

(SDI Productions/E+, Getty Images) People with blood pressure that’s a little too high should take medication to bring it down if lifestyle changes alone don’t work, according to a new report. The American Heart Association published the scientific statement Thursday in its journal Hypertension. It said doctors should consider prescribing blood pressure-lowering medication to people…

(Piotr Adamowicz/EyeEm, Getty Images) Consistent cigarette smoking has a small but significant effect on pulse pressure, according to research that suggests a possible new link between smoking and cardiovascular disease, especially among Black and white women. Pulse pressure is the difference between systolic blood pressure, the top number in a reading, and diastolic blood pressure,…

(Ekaterina79/iStock, Getty Images) People who are salt-sensitive may have an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, according to a study that points to the need for better genetic testing for sodium sensitivity. Scientists already knew high salt sensitivity is more common among people with high blood pressure, which is a leading preventable risk factor…