Hypertension is associated with a number of serious long-term effects on the body. High blood pressure is a risk factor for the development of heart disease, heart failure, stroke, eye disease, kidney disease including kidney failure and some life-threatening emergencies.
Some of the risk factors for high blood pressure include obesity (defined as a body mass index greater than 30) and hypertension. Several organs can be negatively affected (damaged) by hypertension including the kidneys, eyes, brain, and heart. Improving blood flow through means such as weight loss or increased aerobic exercise (ie walking) have been shown to help with hypertension. Additionally, reducing salt and sugar intake, eliminating smoking, reducing alcohol intake, and reducing stress are often recommended by doctors.
Unfortunately, hypertension usually has no symptoms and is considered a silent condition.Occasionally, someone with high blood pressure can experience headaches, confusion, nausea, and visual disturbance or in extreme rare cases even seizures. High blood pressure affects 50 million Americans, or one in every four adults. Furthermore, more than half of all Americans over age 65 have hypertension.