Risks of high blood pressure

Learn the signs and symptoms of long-term untreated high blood pressure or hypertension and the risks of its effects on the body.

Blood pressure gauge illustration with the needle pointing toward "high"

Main risks of hypertension

If you have high blood pressure (also known as hypertension), your heart works harder, which can raise your risk of heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, and kidney failure.1,2 These risks can be very serious — especially if your high blood pressure is left untreated.

Symptoms of high blood pressure

People with high blood pressure may experience the following3:

  • Headaches
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Buzzing in the ears
  • Nosebleeds
  • Abnormal heart rhythm

Who does high blood pressure affect?

High blood pressure is very common,4 affecting all genders, young and old, people who are fit, people with other health problems, and many others. About 50% of all adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure.5

High blood pressure affects different races, ethnicities, and communities.

  • ~ 60% of Black adults in the U.S. have hypertension.6
  • Black Americans experience 5X the mortality risk from hypertension compared with white Americans.7
  • Hispanic Americans with hypertension are more likely to go undiagnosed.7

> 1 billion

adults are affected worldwide.3

Find a Symplicity specialist.

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Whelton PK, Carey RM, Aronow WS, et al. 2017 ACC/AHA/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/AGS/APhA/ASH/ASPC/NMA/PCNA Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults: A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines. Hypertension. June 2018;71(6):e13–e115.


High blood pressure dangers: Hypertension's effects on your body. Mayo Clinic. Available at: Accessed August 28, 2023.


Hypertension fact sheet. World Health Organization. Available at: Accessed August 28, 2023.


The Facts About High Blood Pressure. American Heart Association. Available at: Accessed October 18, 2023.


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Control Hypertension. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General; 2020.


Estimated Hypertension Prevalence, Treatment, and Control Among U.S. Adults Table. Million Hearts. Available at: Accessed September 22, 2023.


Aggarwal R, Chiu N, Wadhera R K, et al. Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Hypertension Prevalence, Awareness, Treatment, and Control in the United States, 2013 to 2018. Hypertension. December 2021;78(6):1719–1726.


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