Question

Hypertension

Why is hypertension called the silent killer?

A Answers (3)

  • AJoseph H. Henderson, MD, Cardiology, answered on behalf of Greenville Health System
    Hypertension is called the silent killer because most patients with high blood pressure have no symptoms to alert them to the elevated pressure. But over time, high blood pressure increases the risk of serious problems such as stroke, congestive heart failure, heart attack, and kidney failure.

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  • High blood pressure is often called the silent killer because hypertension makes your heart work much harder than it should. The entire time high blood pressure is working against your heart and arteries, you are completely unaware that it is causing so much damage. Not only does elevated or high blood pressure cause hardening of the arteries, which can lead to heart attack and other serious problems, but hypertension can result in a brain hemorrhage (stroke). Hypertension also causes kidney disease, where the kidneys function poorly. In some cases, hypertension can result in blindness and amputation of the limbs.


  • ARobin Miller, MD, Integrative Medicine, answered
    Hypertension is called the silent killer because a third of Americans have it and do not know it.  There are no symptoms. The best way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have it checked.  It is really easy. If hypertension is left untreated it can result in heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.  

    If you do not know your blood pressure it is time to find out.  If your blood pressure is high (140/90 or greater) then it is important that you see your doctor for treatment.  If you are treated then your risk for serious illness will decrease.

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