Consequences of high blood pressure

If high blood pressure is left untreated it can lead to significant health problems, including coronary heart disease and stroke.1 Treatment approaches include changes in lifestyle to address modifiable risk factors and drug therapy.1

Clinical consequences

High blood pressure makes the heart work harder to pump blood through the body and contributes to narrowing of the arteries.1 Research suggests that a 10 mmHg higher than usual systolic blood pressure or a 5 mmHg higher than usual diastolic blood pressure would, in the long term, be associated with about a 40% higher risk of death from stroke and about a 30% higher risk of death from heart disease.1

Treatment approaches

Effective blood pressure control can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.2 Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes to help control your blood pressure as well as other cardiovascular risk factors, such as glucose and cholesterol levels. It is important to follow these recommendations carefully.

When lifestyle changes are not enough to control high blood pressure, your doctor may also prescribe medication or discuss further approaches with you.


1. Kaplan NM. Clinical Hypertension, 9ed. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins; 2006.
2. Mancia G, et al. Eur Heart J. 2013;34(28):2159-219.