Can Anxiety Cause High Blood Pressure?


Quick Answer

Anxiety does not cause long-term high blood pressure, according to Mayo Clinic. However, frequent anxiety causes temporary spikes in the blood pressure that can cause damage to the heart, blood vessels and kidneys that is as chronic as damage due to high blood pressure.

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Full Answer

High levels of stress cause many changes in the human body, including the way the blood clots, according to WebMD. These changes increase the chance of a heart attack in an individual. When a person reacts to anxiety by using tobacco, eating or avoiding exercise, the effects on the body may be exacerbated.

While medication is helpful in controlling anxiety, some anxiety medications increase the blood pressure, explains Mayo Clinic. Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, such as venlafaxine and desvenlafaxine, when prescribed at higher dosages are problematic. Patients with both hypertension and anxiety should talk with their doctors to find an appropriate treatment for both conditions.

Depression can make dealing with stress more difficult, according to WebMD. Taking a class or reading a book on dealing with stress may help to deal with the condition. Spending time with friends or loved ones, taking time to relax and exercising daily all help to lower an individual's anxiety level.

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