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What is the connection between high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart disease?

Hypertension is a risk factor for heart disease and it is the single most important risk factor for stroke. It causes about 50% of ischaemic strokes and increases the risk of hemorrhagic stroke. Hypertension stresses your body’s blood vessels, causing them to clog or weaken over time. Hypertension can lead to narrowing of the blood vessels making them more likely to block from blood clots or bits of fatty material breaking off from the lining of the blood vessel wall. Damage to the arteries can also create weak places that rupture easily or thin spots that balloon out the artery wall resulting in an aneurysm. Elevated blood pressure in people less than 50 years old is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. As you get age, your systolic blood pressure becomes a more important predictor of the risk of cardiovascular disease.