High blood pressure means that blood is pushing too hard against artery walls. The force of this blood can damage the heart and the delicate inner lining of the artery walls. This damage can lead to many health problems.
One problem is atherosclerosis or "hardening of the arteries." This problem happens when the inner lining of an artery is damaged. Fat and calcium can build up in the artery wall. This buildup is called plaque. Over time, plaque can cause problems throughout the body. These problems include coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Arteries also carry blood and oxygen to organs like your eyes, kidneys, and brain. If high blood pressure damages those arteries, it can lead to vision loss, kidney disease, stroke, and a higher risk of dementia.
High blood pressure also makes your heart work harder. And that can lead to heart failure, which means your heart doesn't pump as much blood as your body needs.
Current as of: January 10, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine Robert A. Kloner MD, PhD - Cardiology Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Robert A. Kloner MD, PhD - Cardiology & Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine