Untreated hypertension can lead to various complications such as:
Heart attack or stroke:
Long term hypertension leads to atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries supplying the heart which can lead to heart attack.
Atherosclerosis can also affect the intricate blood vessels in the brain. This can lead to blockage of vessels or weakening vessels to the point of rupture, leading to dangerous brain hemorrhage and stroke.
Hypertension means that the heart has to pump blood against an increased resistance (pressure) of the arteries. This means that it has to put in much more effort. In the beginning, the heart can compensate for the same by energetically doing the needful.
But, after a point of time, the heart can no longer compensate for the increased pressure and is unable to effectively pump blood throughout the body, leading to a condition called Heart Failure.
Metabolic syndrome is a disorder in which there is imbalance in utilization and storage of energy in the body. The manifestations include
- Central obesity, seen by increased waist circumference
- High triglyceride levels in blood
- Low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or "good" cholesterol levels
- High Blood Pressure
- Insulin resistance
Hypertension predisposes a person to this complex combination of disorders, with rapid worsening of lipid levels leading to further increase in blood pressure.
Aneurysm of Aorta:
High blood pressure can lead to abnormal dilatation of the aorta, the biggest and main artery of the body which arises from the heart.
This leads to weakening of aortic walls with increase in chances of a rupture and fatal hemorrhage.
Sclerotic blood vessels:
Thickening and narrowing of blood vessels can damage the arteries in kidney and prevent it from functioning normally, leading to Kidney failure.
There might be vision loss due to narrowed or torn blood vessels in the eyes.