Complications

Left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to a hardening of the arteries, which can cause problems throughout your body, including heart disease, chronic kidney disease, or stroke. But simple steps such as eating healthy and getting exercise can help lower your blood pressure and prevent these complications.

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High blood pressure means that blood is pushing too hard against artery walls. The force of this blood can damage the delicate inner lining of the artery walls.

If this inner lining is damaged, fat and calcium can build up in the artery wall, forming a plaque. This plaque makes the artery stiff (atherosclerosis). This is also called “hardening of the arteries.” The plaque might narrow the artery. This narrowing could reduce the amount of blood that is flowing through the artery. Over time, plaque can cause problems throughout the body.

If arteries to the heart are affected, coronary artery disease, a heart attack, or abnormal heartbeats may happen.

If arteries to the brain are affected, a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) may happen.

If arteries to other organs are affected, problems such as kidney failure, peripheral arterial disease, or eye damage may happen.

©2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. This information does not replace the advice of a doctor.

Causes & Risk Factors

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Prevention

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Symptoms & Diagnosis

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Complications

Treatment

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Self-Care & Management

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Causes & Risk Factors

Learn More

Prevention

Learn More

Symptoms & Diagnosis

Learn More

Complications

Treatment

Learn More

Self-Care & Management

Learn More