High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a serious medical condition. When your blood pressure (BP) goes above normal range for a prolonged period of time, blood vessels become damaged and lose their ability to expand and contract. This problem increases your risk for heart attack, stroke, vascular disease in the legs and feet and sometimes kidneys. When you are first diagnosed with high blood pressure, it is advisable to have your BP checked on a weekly basis, unless otherwise directed by your physician. Once your BP is under control by weight loss, exercise and/or medication you should visit your physician once or twice a year, depending on the type of medication you are taking.