For almost everyone the risks of high blood pressure affect you in the long term. As high blood pressure usually has no symptoms people often don’t know they have it. Because they don’t know they have it, it is never treated and, over a period of years, the blood pressure remains high and starts to damage the blood vessels.
This is when the damage to the blood vessels can lead to a heart attack, stroke, heart failure or kidney disease. So, the important thing is to make sure that you know what your blood pressure is and if it is high that you receive treatment and stick to it.
A small number of people will have a blood pressure at very high levels, above 240/120mmHg for example, and this can cause problems very quickly and it needs to be treated straight away.
Many people have probably heard this before! This is an old saying for blood pressure levels and comes from a time when doctors understood less about the risks of high blood pressure. It is not true – an optimal blood pressure level is 120/80mmHg or lower, and high blood pressure is 140/90 mmHg or higher, whatever your age. The lower your blood pressure the lower your risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke and kidney disease will be.