Bad Blood: Why High Blood Pressure Is So Bad for Your Health

High blood pressure is often called the Silent Killer because it has no symptoms. It can go undetected for years, and what it does to your body during that time is enough to make you sick. Literally.

What High Blood Pressure Does:

To Your Arteries
Healthy blood vessels have a smooth inner lining. High blood pressure can damage the cells of the inner lining and also tear the lining. That creates an irregular surface where fatty deposits called plaque can accumulate and slowly start to block the arteries.

To Your Heart
The more your arteries are clogged, the harder your heart has to work to pump blood throughout your body. Over time, this causes the heart to lose its strength and its ability to pump the blood, which can lead to a heart attack.

To Your Brain
When the arteries in your brain are torn or partially clogged, the blood flow decreases. That can cause problems with language, movement and vision. High blood pressure is also the leading cause of stroke.

To Your Kidneys
About 20 percent of people with high blood pressure also have kidney disease. That’s because your kidneys rely on a network of tiny blood vessels to remove waste from your body.

To Your Eyes
Long-term high blood pressure can damage the retina, causing blurred vision. It can also damage the optic nerve and cause blindness.

Source: American Heart Association

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