High Blood Pressure Affects More Than Your Heart

| by Larissa Tater, under Wellness

Did you know that high blood pressure doesn’t just affect your heart? Your blood needs to pump efficiently to keep a multitude of other organs working properly, as well.

Impaired Vision

  • Causes blood vessels in the eye to burst or bleed
  • Vision may become blurred or otherwise impaired and can result in blindness


  • High blood pressure is the most important risk factor for a stroke
  • Very high pressure can break a weakened blood vessel, which then bleeds in the brain. This can cause a stroke.
  • If blood clots block one of the narrowed arteries, it can also cause a stroke


  • As people get older, arteries throughout the body harden, especially those in the heart, brain and kidneys
  • High blood pressure is associated with these stiffer arteries
  • This causes the heart and kidneys to work harder


  • Kidneys act as filters to rid the body of wastes
  • Over time, high blood pressure can narrow and thicken the blood vessels of the kidneys
  • The kidneys filter less fluid, and waste builds up in the blood
  • The kidneys may fail altogether, and when this happens, medical treatment (dialysis) or a kidney transplant is needed.


  • High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attack
  • The arteries bring oxygen-carrying blood to the heart muscle
  • If the heart cannot get enough oxygen, chest pain, also known as "angina," can occur
  • If the flow of blood is blocked, a heart attack results 

Find out more about high blood pressure from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and check out our infographic on Tumblr!

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