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How can high blood pressure affect your arteries?

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High blood pressure stresses your arteries. Over time, that could cut back on blood flow, which needs to reach every organ and parts of your body.

Normally, the vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body have a smooth inner lining. They're strong and flexible enough to push blood through your body. The extra force of the blood from high blood pressure can damage the cells on the inside walls of your arteries.

If the pressure doesn't let up, it can cause tears in the lining so it's not smooth anymore. That's where fatty bits, called plaque, get caught and build up. Blood can't move as well around these clogs, which can even block arteries. These deposits can also make the walls stiff so it's harder to move the blood.

This damage can make the artery wall stretch and bulge out like a balloon. The bump is called an aneurysm. It can break open and bleed.

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Health Threats From High Blood Pressure," "How High Blood Pressure Can Lead to a Heart Attack," "How High Blood Pressure Can Lead to Heart Failure," "How High Blood Pressure Can Lead to Stroke," "How High Blood Pressure Can Lead to Kidney Damage or Failure," "How High Blood Pressure Can Lead to Vision Loss," "How High Blood Pressure Can Affect Your Sex Life," "About Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)."

Mayo Clinic: "High blood pressure dangers: Hypertension's effects on your body," "Coronary artery disease: Symptoms and causes," "Heart arrhythmia: Symptoms and causes."

Healthy Women: "High Blood Pressure & Your Body."

Climacteric : "Importance of controlling blood pressure."

CDC: "About High Blood Pressure," "Effects of High Blood Pressure."

Blood Pressure UK: "What high blood pressure (hypertension) can do."

Nature Reviews Nephrology : "The role of the kidney in regulating arterial blood pressure."

CardioSmart: "Sleep Apnea and High Blood Pressure: A Dangerous Pair."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on May 17, 2019

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Health Threats From High Blood Pressure," "How High Blood Pressure Can Lead to a Heart Attack," "How High Blood Pressure Can Lead to Heart Failure," "How High Blood Pressure Can Lead to Stroke," "How High Blood Pressure Can Lead to Kidney Damage or Failure," "How High Blood Pressure Can Lead to Vision Loss," "How High Blood Pressure Can Affect Your Sex Life," "About Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)."

Mayo Clinic: "High blood pressure dangers: Hypertension's effects on your body," "Coronary artery disease: Symptoms and causes," "Heart arrhythmia: Symptoms and causes."

Healthy Women: "High Blood Pressure & Your Body."

Climacteric : "Importance of controlling blood pressure."

CDC: "About High Blood Pressure," "Effects of High Blood Pressure."

Blood Pressure UK: "What high blood pressure (hypertension) can do."

Nature Reviews Nephrology : "The role of the kidney in regulating arterial blood pressure."

CardioSmart: "Sleep Apnea and High Blood Pressure: A Dangerous Pair."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on May 17, 2019

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How can high blood pressure affect your heart?

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