If left untreated, hypertension can lead to the thickening of arterial walls causing its lumen, or blood passage way, 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.
Update Date 6/1/2015
Updated by: Daniel Kantor, MD, Kantor Neurology, Coconut Creek, FL and Immediate Past President of the Florida Society of Neurology (FSN). Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.