Skip to content

How High Blood Pressure Negatively Impacts Health

Granddaughter embraceWith poorly controlled hypertension you increase the risk of significant health effects and reduce your quality of life and have a negative impact on your life span. Those with elevated blood pressure are at higher risk for developing multiple conditions that include the following:

Atherosclerosis

This condition is another form of damage to the arterial system from hypertension that may come from that peripheral vascular diseases. Narrowing of the arteries can occur in the leg, arms and stomach.

Dementia

Hypertension, especially elevated systolic pressure, may raise your risk of dementia. Previous studies have shown that stroke victims (even if it’s a minor stroke) have an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. So that’s why it’s important to get your BP under control to protect your cognitive health. In older adults having an elevated systolic blood pressure puts them at greater risk for brain lesions associated with Alzheimer’s.

The average BP of seniors in the study was 134/71 and 87% of them were taking medications for high blood pressure. The participants were followed for an average of eight years until they passed away. The average age of death was 89. Researchers in the study found that the risk of brain lesions was higher in those with a higher average systolic blood pressure across those years.

For a person with one standard deviation above the systolic BP (147 vs. 134 for example) there was a 46% increase in having brain lesions. That’s the equivalent of nine years of brain aging. Those with one standard deviation above the average also have a 46% greater chance of having large lesions and a 36% greater chance of having very small lesions.

Stroke

Hypertension can increase the risk of stroke as it can cause the blood vessels in your brain to rupture and clog more easily. In both of those cases, oxygen supply to a portion of the brain ceases, resulting in a stroke. So this increased workload on the heart muscle can result in heart failure and damage to the arteries that supply the heart muscle. That in turn can lead to a heart attack.

Sexual Dysfunction

In particular, high BP leads to a thickening of the blood vessel walls which reduces blood flow and these changes also occur in the penis, contributing to erection difficulties.

Vision Problems

Your eyes have the smallest blood vessels in your body so hypertension can affect your vision. Both kidney failure and vision loss can result.

If you have high blood pressure, you can take steps to address it now to help you avoid serious health conditions down the road.

For more information, see Dr. Kalaba‘s recent video on YouTube.

Add Your Comment (Get a Gravatar)

Your Name

*

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.