The causes of high blood pressure vary. Causes may include narrowing
of the arteries, a greater than normal volume of blood, or the
heart beating faster or more forcefully than it should. Any of
these conditions will cause increased pressure against the artery
Hypertension or high blood pressure increases your
chance (or risk) for getting heart disease and/or kidney disease,
and for having a stroke. It is especially dangerous because it
often has no warning signs or symptoms. Regardless of race, age,
or gender, anyone can develop high blood pressure. Once high blood
pressure develops, it usually lasts a lifetime. You can prevent
and control high blood pressure by taking action.
Below are the effects hypertension can have on your
· Brain - stroke
High blood pressure is the most important risk factor for stroke.
Very high pressure can cause a break in a weakened blood vessel,
which then bleeds in the brain. This can cause a stroke. If a
blood clot blocks one of the narrowed arteries, it can also cause
· Eyes – Impaired vision
High blood pressure can eventually cause blood vessels in the
eye to burst or bleed. Vision may become blurred or otherwise
impaired and can result in blindness.
As people get older, arteries throughout the body "harden,"
especially those in the heart, brain, and kidneys. High blood
pressure is associated with these "stiffer" arteries.
This, in turn, causes the heart and kidneys to work harder.
· Kidney – Kidney damage
The kidneys act as filters to rid the body of wastes. Over time,
high blood pressure can narrow and thicken the blood vessels of
the kidneys. The kidneys filter less fluid, and waste builds up
in the blood. The kidneys may fail altogether. When this happens,
medical treatment (dialysis) or a kidney transplant may be needed.
· Heart – Heart attack
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attack. The
arteries bring oxygen-carrying blood to the heart muscle. If the
heart cannot get enough oxygen, chest pain, also known as "angina,"
can occur. If the flow of blood is blocked, a heart attack results.
· Heart - Congestive Heart Failure
High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for congestive
heart failure (CHF). CHF is a serious condition in which the heart
is unable to pump enough blood to supply the body's needs.