Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

Hypertension Complications


One of the most common and dangerous pathologies is hypertension, which is diagnosed in both young and old people. Complications of hypertension affect the heart, blood vessels, urinary system, and the brain. Due to a prolonged increase in blood pressure in the organs, serious changes occur, sometimes incompatible with life. In order to avoid serious complications, each hypertensive patient should regularly consult a doctor and strictly adhere to his prescriptions.

What is hypertension?

Increased blood pressure is the leading cause of disability worldwide.

Hypertension is the most common pathology of the cardiovascular system, which provokes neuro-functional damage to blood vessels. The main difference between the disease is a very high blood pressure, which is why serious disorders occur in the body. Arterial hypertension is diagnosed with blood pressure above 140/90 mm. Hg. Often people with hypertension feel normal at high rates. Because this pathology is called the "silent killer." Most often, the disease is diagnosed in people over 40 years old, although it is also found in young people. GB affects women and men equally and is the leading cause of death among patients with heart disease.

Symptoms of pathology

With hypertension, the following symptoms are observed:

  • headache, dizziness,
  • discomfort, chest pain,
  • noise / ringing in the ears,
  • "Flies" before the eyes,
  • heart palpitations,
  • nausea, vomiting,
  • skin redness
  • general weakness
  • nosebleeds.
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Causes of Complications

If a hypertensive patient takes care of his health, takes medications prescribed by the doctor that stabilize blood pressure, maintains a diet, etc., he protects himself from the complications of hypertension. If the pressure is not controlled, then due to its constant increase, the blood vessels lose their tone, their walls thicken. As a result, there is a violation of the blood supply to organs and tissues, which negatively affects their work. Factors under the influence of which the consequences of hypertension may occur are as follows:

  • high blood cholesterol
  • smoking,
  • low physical activity
  • excess weight,
  • genetic predisposition
  • diabetes,
  • decreased thyroid function,
  • stress, nervous strain,
  • features of the constitution and psyche of man.
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Possible complications

Due to the fact that a person gets used to high blood pressure, he can pay attention to the existing problem only during the period of exacerbation, when blood pressure rises especially high (for each this indicator is individual), which negatively affects the state of the whole organism. Hypertension can be complicated by serious disorders of the internal organs, which can lead to disability or death.

Hypertensive crisis

A feature of the hypertensive crisis is the rapid increase in blood pressure. Pathology occurs quickly, sometimes in half an hour. At the same time, the patient darkens in the eyes, a decrease in visual acuity is possible, pain in the chest and head, nausea, and vomiting appear. In the event of a severe crisis, a person may lose consciousness. This complication is considered the most dangerous, since it provokes serious disturbances in the body. A common cause of HA is a stressful situation and excessive exercise. If the patient suffers from hypertension, a crisis may develop from lack of sleep or minor troubles that can bring a person out of emotional balance. The consequence of the pathology is myocardial infarction, stroke, paralysis, visual impairment.

Chronic renal failure

Kidney disease can cause hypertension. If the patient has glomerulonephritis or pyelonephritis, sodium is retained in the body, which provokes an increase in blood pressure. On this basis, constipation and hypertension are associated, since intestinal pathology provokes kidney disease. Feedback is also possible when renal failure becomes a consequence of hypertension. The decisive factor in the development of the disease is ischemia, formed as a result of insufficient blood supply to paired organs. Initially, the disease does not manifest in any way, and it can only be detected with the help of laboratory tests. After 80% of the nephrons are affected, the patient has symptoms such as:

  • excessive urination at night,
  • nausea, vomiting,
  • itching throughout the body
  • dry mouth
  • coma.
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Erectile dysfunction

Arterial hypertension provokes erectile dysfunction (impotence), as it negatively affects the state of blood vessels. Due to the loss of vascular tone and elasticity, the penis cannot be properly filled with blood, which leads to pathologies of erection in men. According to statistics, 46% of men suffering from hypertension were diagnosed with erectile dysfunction of various degrees of severity. The risk of impotence in hypertension is 15%.

Myocardial infarction

As a result of the circulatory pathology provoked by hypertension, there is a consequence of the disease, such as myocardial infarction - the death of a certain area of ​​the heart muscle. The patient experiences severe pain in the heart, radiating to the shoulder, arm, neck on the left side. Due to severe pain, a person restricts his movements so as not to exacerbate the attack. "Nitroglycerin" is able to relieve pain for a short time. A heart attack often leads to severe heart failure and death, therefore it is important to quickly help a person. Before the doctor’s examination, the patient is given Nitroglycerin and mustard plasters are placed on the heart and calf area.


Diabetes does not belong to the complications of hypertension, but the presence of both of these pathologies worsens the patient's condition. Since diseases can aggravate each other's course, the risk of developing complications of these pathologies is significantly higher if both are diagnosed in a person. Hypertensive patients with diabetes mellitus often have heart attacks, kidney failure, and brain bleeding.

Hypertensive encephalopathy

Encephalopathy is diagnosed in hypertensive patients in old age. A feature of the pathology is a strong spasm of the blood vessels of the brain, due to which oxygen starvation occurs, which negatively affects the work of the organ. The activity of the brain centers decreases, human behavior changes. Symptoms of the disease are:

  • general malaise
  • dizziness
  • memory impairment
  • poor concentration,
  • problems with coordination of movements and speech,
  • decreased intelligence.

Brain stroke provokes mental disorders, hallucinations, aggression.

Brain stroke

As a result of prolonged hypertension, the vessels of the brain are affected, which leads to severe oxygen starvation of the organ. Due to the complete cessation of blood supply and the death of a certain area of ​​the brain, a stroke occurs. The patient shows signs of a malfunction of the central nervous system:

  • blood pressure rises sharply,
  • the rhythm of the heartbeat is broken,
  • perspiration intensifies,
  • body temperature differences,
  • loss of consciousness
  • cramps
  • paralysis of the arms / legs,
  • speech impairment.
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Coronary heart disease

Due to hypertension, organs and tissues do not receive the necessary nutrition. This also applies to the heart muscle. Insufficient blood supply to the myocardium provokes the development of coronary heart disease, which is further complicated by a heart attack. develops due to nervous strain or excessive physical activity. It manifests itself as severe pain in the chest, which radiates to the arm, neck and face on the left side. Pain is eliminated with the help of "Nitroglycerin" or go away on their own.

Visual impairment

Hypertension is accompanied by darkening in the eyes or flickering of "black flies" during physical activity. This indicates pathologies of intraocular circulation. Over time, blood vessel thrombosis forms in the retina, and vision becomes noticeably worse. If with a rapid increase in blood pressure, the artery supplying the optic nerve will be spasmodic or the vessel of the retina of the eye will be damaged, the situation will be much more complicated. Violation of the integrity of blood vessels leads to hemorrhage. Depending on its volume and location, a black fragment may form in the field of view or complete loss of vision.

Complication outcome

The main complications of hypertension relate to the work of the heart, brain, and kidneys. In addition to such dangerous phenomena as a heart attack or stroke, hypertension leads to angina pectoris, swelling of the brain or lungs. Any complication triggers a chain reaction, as it has its own complications that worsen the quality of life, lead to loss of working capacity, disability, insanity and death.

To prevent complications, hypertensive patients need to be regularly examined and strictly follow the doctor’s prescription.

Prevention of Complications

The basic rule for preventing complications of hypertension is control. Hypertensive patients should monitor their blood pressure, periodically consult a doctor and follow his instructions. They consist in following a diet, performing simple physical exercises, giving up bad habits, taking prescribed medications. And most importantly - to avoid any nervous shocks.

Assessment of the risk of complications

Assessment of possible complications is carried out taking into account the classification of the disease, since each degree of pathology is characterized by different indicators of blood pressure. As a rule, the third stage of the disease has a high risk of development, since a steady increase in blood pressure causes damage to the blood vessels of the brain, myocardium and kidneys.

During the diagnosis of hypertension, the severity of the disease is set taking into account all the provoking factors that contribute to the aggravation of the clinical picture. These factors increase the risk of developing cardiac and vascular complications, as well as worsen the prognosis of the disease. In determining possible consequences, the following factors must be considered:

  • patient age
  • gender
  • blood cholesterol
  • metabolic disturbance,
  • genetic predisposition
  • physical activity
  • negative habits
  • damage to target organs.

Depending on the intensity of the increase in blood pressure, there are 3 degrees of risk of possible complications in hypertension:

  • Low risk It is characteristic for patients in whom the probability of the consequences of the disease during the first ten years is equal to 15%.
  • Medium risk. The possibility of negative consequences is equated to 20%.
  • High risk. The degree of complications is from 30%.

Consequences of the disease

Arterial hypertension is caused by a disorder in the activity of the cardiovascular system, which is subsequently manifested by various complications from various body systems. Elevated blood pressure over a long time leads to irreversible changes in the vascular system.

Sharp jumps in blood pressure contribute to thickening of the walls of blood vessels, which leads to a decrease in their elasticity. Disturbances in the circulatory system are manifested by a reduced supply of oxygen and nutrients to the organs, which leads to a violation of their functions. Organ damage becomes the main cause of concomitant pathologies with arterial hypertension.

With inappropriate treatment, high blood pressure can cause irreversible pathological processes in the body that contribute to the deterioration of the damaged organs.

The list of complications in pathology

Complications of hypertension are associated with damage to target organs. As a rule, the vascular system is primarily affected by pathological changes, then the cardiac and brain activity, as well as the excretory system and vision, are disturbed.

Increased pressure puts an additional burden on the myocardium, therefore, an intensive regimen contributes to the disturbance of cardiac activity. There is a direct correlation in the activity of the body. So, the higher the level of blood pressure, the more difficult it is for the myocardium to function, as a result of which circulatory disorder occurs. Therefore, with untimely therapeutic measures, the risk of dysfunction of the heart muscle and loss of elasticity of blood vessels increase.

The most severe and common consequences of hypertension:

  • hypertensive crisis,
  • heart disease (stroke, angina pectoris, acute myocardial infarction, atherosclerosis),
  • dysfunction of the nervous system (hemorrhage, encephalopathy),
  • nephropathy
  • visual impairment,
  • diabetes,
  • genital disorder.

Against the background of a hypertensive crisis, a patient may experience a stroke, which can lead to death.

In order for a hypertensive patient to be able to timely diagnose the development of concomitant pathologies in the body, he needs to get acquainted with some of the consequences of the disease and their initial signs.


The long course of hypertension and its progression to later stages causes the development of atherosclerosis, which entails pathological changes in the main vascular structures.

A high level of blood pressure enhances the formation of lipid deposits on the walls of arteries, localizing directly in the area of ​​high pressure.

Arterial hypertension creates a complex of conditions for the formation of such a complication as atherosclerosis:

  • increased vascular permeability,
  • increased lipid filtration through the vascular walls,
  • increased degree of damage to vascular membranes with fatty plaques,
  • violation of the integrity of the membranes of blood vessels.

Renal failure

The process of removing excess fluid from the body is closely related to the functional state of the vascular system. Prolonged hypertension leads to damage to the renal blood vessels, resulting in the development of irreversible pathological processes of the excretory system.

Renal failure is formed against the background of damage to the renal nephrons and glomeruli. Thus, paired organs are not able to perform the filtration function, which leads to the accumulation of toxic substances.
At the early stage of the disease, there is no characteristic clinical picture, since the resulting load is redistributed between other organs. Pronounced signs of the disease appear when the pathological process goes into the chronic stage, affecting most of the paired organs.

Signs of the formation of pathology in the body:

  • increased nighttime urine output,
  • nausea, vomiting, not associated with food intake,
  • taste of bitterness in the oral cavity,
  • decreased appetite
  • decrease in concentration
  • local numbness of the body,
  • headache, dizziness,
  • soreness in the heart.

The main laboratory criteria indicating the presence of the disease are an increased level of creatinine in the blood, as well as the appearance of proteinuria in the urine.

Visual impairment

Pathological changes in hypertension from the side of vision occur in the fundus, which is detected when undergoing ophthalmoscopy. The first signs of pathology are retinal vasodilation and narrowing of the lumen of the arteries. There is some pattern: the higher the tone of the artery, the greater its compression.

Very often, hypertensive patients experience small retinal hemorrhages, which is associated with the release of red blood cells through the damaged vascular wall. In addition, during high blood pressure, capillaries rupture, causing hemorrhage.

Signs of visual impairment in hypertension:

  • the appearance of hemorrhages,
  • the appearance of exudates in the fundus,
  • narrowing of the fields of vision.

Decreased potency

Hypertension leads to a decrease in the elasticity of the vessels of the penis, which later manifests itself as a violation of contractility of the arteries at certain time intervals. Due to insufficient blood supply, the erectile mechanism of the genital organ is impaired.

Genital disorders can be triggered by the formation of blood clots in the lumen of blood vessels.

How to prevent complications?

To minimize the risk of complications, the patient must eliminate the provocative factors that worsen the course of the disease and lead to an unfavorable prognosis.

The patient must adhere to the following recommendations:

  • Quitting smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Compliance with a special diet, which includes reducing the amount of salt consumed.
  • Weight loss through the rejection of high-calorie foods.
  • Performing a therapeutic gymnastic complex.
  • The introduction of breathing exercises into the daily rhythm of life.
  • Stabilization of the emotional and mental state.
  • Constant monitoring of blood pressure during the day.
  • Regular preventive examinations by specialists.

In parallel with the non-drug principles of treatment, a systematic administration of antihypertensive drugs should be carried out. When choosing a medication, a specialist takes into account contraindications and the risk of possible complications.

The prognosis for the patient's life, as well as the appearance of complications, depends on the stage of hypertension and the level of blood pressure. The intensity of the negative consequences is determined by the degree of progression of changes in the vascular system of the kidneys, brain, and myocardium. There is a certain relationship between all pathological processes, which indicates the severe nature of the course of the disease and the urgent need for correction of therapeutic measures.

What is hypertension

A person suffering from high blood pressure develops a complex disease of the vascular system - hypertension. The pathogenesis of the disease (the process and the mechanism of its development) shows that the main reason for the appearance of hypertension is an increase in the tone of blood vessels in the peripheral regions, causing metabolic dysregulation. Some scientists believe that a certain genetic defect is responsible for triggering this mechanism.

The scale of the spread of pathology among the population is very large - this or that stage of hypertension is diagnosed in a significant part of the adult population over 40 years old. Hypertension is dangerous primarily due to its complications. Attempts to ignore this condition lead to the development of serious diseases. Hypertension sharply increases the risk of concomitant pathologies, such target organs as the brain, heart, kidneys are under attack.

Hypertension Complications

If a person for a long time does not pay attention to the high values ​​of the results of measuring blood pressure, the vascular system is slowly but irreversibly subjected to changes. The walls of the vessels eventually become thicker, rougher, lose their elasticity. This then leads to disruption of the activity of all systems of the human organs, the cells suffer from a lack of oxygen and nutrition, which altered blood vessels cannot provide enough.

The state of chronic insufficiency of blood flow of tissues and organs becomes the cause of the development of concomitant complications of hypertension syndrome, with age, the risk of their appearance increases. According to the nature of the course of the disease, the following classification is adopted: a slowly proceeding (benign) hypertension and a rapidly progressing (malignant) form are distinguished.

The circulatory system provides nutrition for absolutely all organs and tissues. Violation of this process can lead to dysfunction of any element of a complex system of the human body. The following complications of hypertension cause the most problems (including death):

  • hypertensive crisis,
  • heart disease (atherosclerosis, heart attack, angina pectoris, heart failure, aortic aneurysm),
  • disturbances in the functioning of the nervous system (hemorrhages in the brain, impaired functioning of parts of the brain),
  • renal failure
  • eye diseases, decreased vision,
  • diabetes,
  • problems with potency in men.

High Pressure Complications

What causes high blood pressure? Many experts agree that the consequences of constantly increased blood pressure can cause serious complications in the internal systems of the body. At the same time, certain organs that doctors call “targets” begin to hurt.

These include the vascular system, myocardium (heart muscle), the brain, as well as the kidneys and organs of vision.

Complications of hypertension:

  1. The level of blood pressure may vary during the day. At the same time, it rises during psychoemotional stress and decreases during sleep.
  2. The pressure level can rise to the level of 160 by 95 mm Hg.
  3. When it jumps, pain occurs in the head, a feeling of “pulsation” appears inside the cranium. The skin in the neck and face blush. Palpitations.
  4. Sometimes there is blurred eyes.

In addition to head cramps, the patient may experience:

  • pain in the area of ​​the heart muscle,
  • various flickers in the eyes, objects in the form of dots or "flies", the appearance of circles under the eyes,
  • sweating condition
  • tremor, chills,
  • increased pressure with excessive consumption of edible salt.

Organ effects

When examining hypertensive patients, doctors record the effects of high blood pressure in the form of pathological changes in the heart, kidneys, blood vessels, and veins.

Complications of hypertension can affect:

  1. The work of the heart. A high level of pressure accelerates the pulsation of the heart muscle to saturate all body tissues with oxygen. Due to the high resistance of the walls of the blood vessels, the heart muscle is in a constantly increased tone. After a certain time, the heart hypertrophies (significantly increases in size). Intense loads lead to rapid wear of its tissues. A person is diagnosed with heart failure. The chronic course of this disease affects the blood supply to all tissues and systems of human organs. It also causes weakness, shortness of breath and fatigue, even with little physical activity.
  2. Hypertensive crisis. This is a sharp exacerbation of pathology. It is characterized by a jump in blood pressure, at which neurovascular reactions occur. At such moments, diastolic blood pressure can reach values ​​of 120-130 mm Hg.

During bouts of crisis, the patient feels severe pulsating headaches. Lead heaviness is present in the head. Often there is vomiting, a broken condition and weakness. Patients complain of darkening in the eyes or see sparks. Hypertensive crisis requires an immediate transfer of the patient under the supervision of doctors of a cardiological hospital. It is important to record a decrease in pressure over a short period of time (on average 60 minutes) in patients with a dynamically developing crisis. In other patients, this indicator is not limited to this framework.

  • Cerebral hemorrhage. Pathological manifestations are considered the most severe in terms of complications of hypertension. They can be observed in patients with high blood pressure. They are recorded as complications that appear suddenly in the form of an acute headache. Paralysis and speech impairment may join these symptoms. Severe condition progresses rapidly. For the fastest restoration of the functioning of disturbed body systems, immediate hospitalization is required. The effects of intracranial pressure often lead to the death of the patient.
  • Pathologies on the kidneys. High blood pressure affects small arteries and arterioles. As a result, the muscles of the arteries thicken, compressing the vessel and clogging it. These phenomena lead to impaired renal function. They begin to poorly filter fluids in the body. Waste and other waste of human activity with urine are worse. High blood pressure accelerates the working mode of the kidneys. This leads to the phenomenon of uremia. Because of it, poisoning of the body can occur. Also, constant processing leads to renal failure, which is treated only by artificial dialysis.
  • Atherosclerosis. High blood pressure affects the condition of the walls of the arteries. They form atherosclerotic plaques. In some cases, atherosclerosis leads to angina pectoris. There are sharp pains in the chest region due to a lack of blood flow and oxygen starvation of tissues. Narrowing the lumen of an artery in the lower extremities causes pain when walking, as well as stiffness of movement. Doctors call this disease "intermittent claudication."
  • Thrombosis. Another disease that appears against the background of persistent hypertension. This ailment appears due to a neglected form of atherosclerosis. It is characterized by the formation of blood clots inside the walls of the affected arteries. In this case, blood clots can occur in the heart, GM or lower extremities. Most often, the cause of heart attacks is precisely cardiac thrombosis.
  • Aneurysm. Also, aneurysm can become a consequence of prolonged hypertension. It is characterized by protrusion of the artery wall. Without the necessary clinical actions, an aneurysm can burst and cause internal bleeding. This is fraught with a stroke, and in some cases death.
  • In patients with hypertension, frequent nosebleeds can be observed.

    They faint, lose their memory. Sometimes a partial loss of visual function is manifested.

    Especially elderly and pregnant women need to worry about their blood pressure. The consequences of high blood pressure during pregnancy are dangerous for the baby, and in the elderly a heart attack can occur.

    For the prevention of severe consequences, it is necessary to measure blood pressure readings at least 2 times a day. In severe cases with severely elevated blood pressure, you should immediately contact your cardiologist or local physician.


    Author of the article Svetlana Ivanova, general practitioner

    Preventive measures

    Actions aimed at the prevention of hypertension should be carried out long before the onset of signs of complications. Occasional jumps in blood pressure can and should become an occasion to revise your habits towards a healthier lifestyle. Taking measures to prevent the disease is easier than eliminating the consequences of violations.

    Preventive measures should be such good habits as:

    • regular physical activity corresponding to the level of preparation of the patient,
    • healthy eating without salt abuse,
    • decrease in the proportion of foods rich in cholesterol in daily nutrition,
    • maintaining mental balance (the rapid progression of hypertension is facilitated by the lack of a return of an adequate state of blood vessels at the end of a stressful situation),
    • elimination of bad habits,
    • regular self-monitoring of blood pressure.