Undetected High Blood Pressure The “Silent Killer” Increasing Heart Attack and Stroke Risk

 Undetected High Blood Pressure The “Silent Killer” Increasing Heart Attack and Stroke Risk


A serious health condition that can go undetected for months or even years might be putting your body at higher risk for deadly heart attacks or strokes. In the UK, about a third of the population is affected by high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. This condition forces the heart to work harder to pump blood throughout the body.

Hypertension places extra strain on the heart, other organs, and blood vessels, potentially causing long-term damage. It is a significant factor in many serious health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, strokes, heart failure, and heart attacks. Despite its severity, hypertension often goes unnoticed and undiagnosed until it leads to a serious medical emergency, told The Mirror.

Alarmingly, it is estimated that around one in two people with hypertension are unaware of their condition or are not receiving treatment. This is because hypertension rarely exhibits symptoms, earning it the nickname “silent killer.” However, there are some signs to watch for.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), symptoms can appear if your blood pressure is “very high.” “Most people with hypertension don’t feel any symptoms,” the WHO states. “Checking your blood pressure is the best way to know if you have high blood pressure. If hypertension isn’t treated, it can cause other health conditions like kidney disease, heart disease, and stroke.”

If your blood pressure reaches 180/120 or higher, you might start to notice symptoms. Two such symptoms can manifest in the chest: chest pain and an abnormal heart rhythm.

Regular monitoring of blood pressure is crucial to detect and manage hypertension before it leads to severe health issues. Awareness and proactive health checks can save lives by preventing the silent progression of this potentially deadly condition.

However, WHO lists other potential signs as:

  • Severe headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Blurred vision or other vision changes
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Buzzing in the ears
  • Nosebleeds.

It is not always known exactly what causes someone to have high blood pressure but your risk will be increased if you:

  • Are overweight
  • Eat too much salt and do not eat enough fruit and vegetables
  • Do not do enough exercise
  • Drink too much alcohol or coffee (or other caffeine-based drinks)
  • Smoke
  • Have a lot of stress
  • Are over 65
  • Have a relative with high blood pressure
  • Are of black African or black Caribbean descent
  • Live in a deprived area.
  • It could also be caused by a condition or illness such as diabetes or kidney disease.

Certain medications such as the contraceptive pill and steroids are also known to raise blood pressure.

Related post