Having high blood pressure can have a significant impact on your body. It can cause damage to your arteries, kidneys, and even the heart. If left unchecked, you may be at a higher risk of having a heart attack or peripheral artery disease.
Increased risk of heart attack
Getting a heart attack is not a pleasant thing. But there are ways you can reduce the risk. You can take medications, make changes to your diet, and exercise regularly. You should also learn the symptoms of a heart attack so you know what to look for.
The American Heart Association has published a calculator to estimate your risk of heart attack. Four out of five of these calculators overestimate your odds. The calculator does not take into account all the factors that affect your risk. You may want to have a doctor give you a more accurate estimate.
If you have high blood pressure, you may be at an increased risk of heart attack. High blood pressure puts stress on the arteries. Over time, your arteries harden and your heart may not be able to pump blood properly. High blood pressure also increases the risk of heart failure, stroke, and kidney problems.
Damage to artery walls
Having high blood pressure can lead to many different problems, including heart disease, kidney disease, and even dementia. In addition, it can damage the walls of blood vessels, causing them to enlarge and become stiffer.
A damaged artery can lead to an aneurysm, which is a bulge in the blood vessel wall. Aneurysms can cause pain and bleeding, especially in the aorta, the main artery that runs down the middle of the body.
Another common complication of high blood pressure is atherosclerosis, which is a disease in which the walls of the artery become thick and stiff. This makes it harder for the heart to supply blood to the organs and muscles of the body. It can also cause a heart attack. A heart attack occurs when a blood vessel is blocked, which starves the heart muscle of oxygen.
Damage to kidneys
Taking medications to control blood pressure may be a good way to protect your kidneys. This is because high blood pressure can damage your kidneys over time.
Your kidneys are responsible for removing waste products from your blood. They also help regulate the flow of blood and water. If your kidneys are not working properly, you can develop fluid buildup in your body. This can lead to a variety of health problems, including kidney failure.
Your kidneys also produce hormones, including aldosterone. These hormones help control blood pressure, but when your kidneys are damaged, they do not produce enough of these hormones to properly regulate your blood pressure. This can create a vicious cycle.
High blood pressure can also damage the blood vessels that lead to your kidneys. This means that your kidneys may not be able to filter enough blood to clean your body.
Increased risk of peripheral artery disease
Various studies have reported associations between blood pressure and peripheral artery disease (PAD). In a recent meta-analysis of five prospective studies, the risk of peripheral arterial disease was significantly increased by systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. The strength of the association was varied. The results were reported as hazard ratios with 95% confidence intervals (CI).
The strength of the association was lower when the first four years of follow-up were excluded. This may be attributed to chance. In addition, the strength of the association was lower with a higher body mass index.
The primary model adjusted for age, body mass index (BMI), diabetes mellitus, ECG changes, smoking, use of antihypertensive drugs, and clinical practice clustering. The hazard ratios were similar in several sensitivity analyses.
Symptoms of high blood pressure
Symptoms of high blood pressure include shortness of breath, dizziness, and headaches. They can cause damage to organs, such as the brain, heart, and kidneys, if they are left untreated.
The main cause of high blood pressure is a buildup of plaque in the arteries. This is called atherosclerosis. This causes arteries to narrow, putting extra strain on the heart. This can also cause blood clots, which block blood flow to the heart and brain.
The best way to determine if you have high blood pressure is to get a regular blood pressure reading. You can get a blood pressure reading at your doctor’s office, or at a health resource fair. You can also buy a personal monitor to check your pressure at home.
A blood pressure reading is done by measuring the pressure of your blood against the walls of your arteries. The reading is given in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).
If you have high blood pressure, it is important to know the risk factors and symptoms of the disease. If you are at risk for high blood pressure, you should work with your doctor to lower your risk. You may be prescribed medicines to lower your blood pressure. You may also be advised to make changes in your diet and exercise.