Nearly 1 in 3 adults in the United States has high blood pressure, and it’s especially prevalent in women. Many people don’t even know they have high blood pressure, but its effects can be extremely detrimental to your health and longevity. Blood pressure can naturally rise with age, even with proper diet and exercise, so it’s important to have your levels checked regularly.
If you needed convincing about looking after your blood pressure, consider the following eight ways that high blood pressure can damage your health.
1. Weakened Arteries
The stress of increased pressure within blood vessels can cause your arteries to weaken. With continued stress, your arteries may burst, leading to stroke or internal bleeding.
2. Fatty Plaque Buildup
While plaque buildup in the arteries is usually associated with high cholesterol, it can be encouraged by high blood pressure. Buildup of plaque in your arteries can cause all sorts of problems related to restricted blood flow.
3. Stress on Heart
The extra pressure in your blood vessels causes your heart to work harder than it should, which can lead to enlargement of the heart, weakness of the heart, and eventual heart failure.
4. Heart Attacks
High blood pressure sends your heart into overdrive, which can lead to coronary events through overwork. The plaque buildup doesn’t help, either, as coronary artery disease is one of the leading causes of heart attack.