Cardiovascular & Kidney Diseases

High Blood Pressure

A stethoscope on a table next to a laptop.

When the heart beats, it pumps blood into the arteries, building up pressure – systolic blood pressure – on the walls of the blood vessels. This pressure is important and necessary – otherwise the blood would not be transported through the body.

High blood pressure (also referred to as HBP, or hypertension) is when your blood pressure, the force of blood flowing through your blood vessels, is consistently too high. When left untreated, the damage that high blood pressure does to the circulatory system is a significant contributing factor to health threats. In most cases, the damage done by high blood pressure takes place over time. Left undetected (or uncontrolled), high blood pressure can lead for example to:

  • Heart attack

  • Stroke

  • Heart failure

  • Kidney disease or failure


Most of the time, high blood pressure has no obvious symptoms to indicate that something is wrong. According to the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), a wealth of evidence exists to demonstrate that lowering blood pressure can substantially reduce premature morbidity and mortality. Making lifestyle changes (like regular physical activity) and using medications as prescribed can enhance the quality of life and reduce the risk of disease.