If left untreated, hypertension can lead to a thickening of arterial walls, causing the lumen, or blood passageway, to narrow in diameter. As a result, the heart must work harder to pump blood through the narrowed arterial openings. In addition, people with hypertension may be more susceptible to stroke.
Review Date 4/30/2018
Updated by: Amit M. Shelat, DO, FACP, Attending Neurologist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, SUNY Stony Brook, School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.