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Consequences of High Blood Pressure

Possible health consequences that can happen over time when high blood pressure is left untreated include:

  • Damage to the heart and coronary arteries, including heart attack, heart disease, congestive heart failure, aortic dissection, and atherosclerosis.
  • Stroke
  • Kidney damage
  • Vision loss
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Memory loss
  • Fluid in the lungs
  • Angina

Remember, these are not symptoms, these are consequences of high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a symptomless disease except in its most extreme case known as a hypertensive crisis. When blood pressure readings rise to 180 or above for systolic (top number) or 110 or above for diastolic (bottom number), call for emergency medical treatment, immediately.

Individuals whose blood pressure is higher that 140/90 mm Hg often become patients treated for serious cardiovascular problems.

  • 77% of Americans treated for a first stroke have a blood pressure over 140/90.
  • 69% of Americans who have a first heart attack have a blood pressure over 140/90.
  • 74% of Americans with congestive heart failure have blood pressure over 140/90.

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