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Ask a Doc: Why is high blood pressure often called “the silent killer?”

AAD SharmaOur answer comes from Dr. Sandeep K. Sharma of HMC Cardiovascular Specialists

Question:  Why is high blood pressure often called “the silent killer?”

Answer:  Hypertension is sometimes called "the silent killer" because high blood pressure may not cause symptoms, but it may continue to damage your arteries, heart and other organs. Uncontrolled high blood pressure, therefore, may lead to serious organ damage that could eventually lead to death.

Possible health consequences that can happen over time when high blood pressure is left untreated include:

  • Damage to the heart and coronary arteries, including heart attack, heart disease, congestive heart failure, aortic aneurysm.
  • Stroke
  • Kidney damage
  • Vision loss
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Memory loss 
  • Peripheral artery disease

But remember, these are not symptoms of high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a symptomless disease.

To make an appointment with HMC Cardiovascular Specialists call 413-534-2870.

‘Ask a Doc’ is a weekly post by Holyoke Medical Center. To ask a question, please feel free to submit to and we will do our best to answer it.

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