Q:

What does blood pressure affect?

A:

Quick Answer

Blood pressure affects the vital organs and the health of the arteries, as reported by the American Heart Association. Someone with consistently elevated blood pressure has an increased risk for arterial damage, blood clots and organ damage.

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What does blood pressure affect?
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Full Answer

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute defines blood pressure as the force of blood against the artery walls while the heart pumps blood. Systolic blood pressure refers to the amount of force exerted when the heart beats, while diastolic blood pressure refers to the amount of force exerted when the heart is at rest. Normal blood pressure is a systolic reading of less than 120 and a diastolic reading of less than 80.

In someone with untreated high blood pressure, the force exerted against the artery walls is too high, resulting in the formation of tiny tears in the artery walls. These tears turn into scar tissue and end up harboring arterial plaque, which is composed of cholesterol, fat and other particles, as stated by the American Heart Association. High blood pressure also accelerates the process by which the arteries become less elastic over time.

Once the arteries are damaged, they are not able to deliver blood to the other organs as efficiently as they once did. An inadequate supply of blood increases the risk for organ damage, according to the American Heart Association. Narrowed arteries also increase the risk for blood clots because clots can get lodged in the small spaces created by the narrowing.

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