Common Complications of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is associated with several potentially dangerous
complications. It causes damage to your arteries, this can result in hardening and thickening of
the arteries (atherosclerosis), which can lead to a heart attack, stroke or other
complications..The higher your blood pressure and the longer it goes uncontrolled, the greater the
1. Heart Attack.
Heart attacks are caused by an interruption of blood flow through the coronary arteries, which
supply the heart muscle with oxygen and nutrients. High blood pressure raises the risk of heart
attacks and increases the likelihood that a heart attack, if one occurs, will be severe. This
increased risk is because high blood pressure both stresses the heart – makes it work harder than
normal – and contributes to the formation of blockages that can disrupt blood flow.
2. Heart failure.
To pump blood against the higher pressure in your vessels, your heart muscle thickens. Eventually,
the thickened muscle may have a hard time pumping enough blood to meet your body's needs, which can
lead to heart failure.
Strokes, like heart attacks, are caused by an interruption of blood flow. In the case of stroke,
the interruption is in the brain. When blood flow to the brain is interrupted, the areas of the
brain depending on that blood are damaged. Sometimes strokes, like heart attacks, happen because a
blood vessel becomes clogged and blood cannot flow past the blockage. In other cases, a small blood
vessel can actually rupture, and flow is reduced because the blood leaks out of the vessel. High
blood pressure increases the risk of both stroke and brain hemmorhage.
4. Kidney Damage
The kidneys are the body’s most important long-term blood pressure regulators. They are also
sensitive to the effects of increased blood pressure, which damages the sensitive filters
responsible for regulating the amount of fluid in the body. Kidney damage and high blood pressure
are a self-reinforcing circle, with high blood pressure causing damage which, in turn, leads to
even higher blood pressure. Kidney damage is one of the most dangerous long-term complications of
high blood pressure.
Thickened, narrowed or torn blood vessels in the eyes. This can result in vision loss.High blood
pressure can injure the eyes, causing a condition called retinopathy.
7- Mental Problems and Dementia
Uncontrolled chronic high blood pressure is also associated with reduced short-term memory and
mental abilities. Isolated systolic hypertension may pose a particular risk for complications in
Hypertension also increases the elimination of calcium in urine, potentially leading to loss of
bone mineral density, a significant risk factor for fractures, particularly in elderly women
Sexual dysfunction is more common and more severe in men with hypertension and in smokers than it
is in the general population
High blood pressure may increase the risk of developing fibroids, according to data from the
Nurses’ Health Study. Tracking women for 10 years, the prospective epidemiologic study found that
for every 10 mm/Hg increase in diastolic blood pressure, the risk for developing fibroids increased
by 8 - 10%