The prognosis of hypertension is generally very good if it is caught early and properly monitored and treated. It typically takes many years for high blood pressure to become severe enough to cause serious complications, although uncontrolled hypertension over time is related to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and death. The majority of patients with hypertension, however, can keep it under control and can expect to live a full life when proper lifestyle changes are implemented.
Overall, the prognosis of hypertension is highly positive because it is almost always treatable with dietary and lifestyles changes combined with medication. Most patients can go on to lead full lives without suffering any severe consequences, so long as high blood pressure is caught early and treated. Patients will need to be monitored several times a year to ensure that blood pressure has not spiked again and that any treatments being used are still working. Sometimes medications or dietary habits will need to be tweaked for optimum results.
The prognosis of hypertension that has not been controlled is not as good. High blood pressure that is allowed to escalate, either due to a patient not knowing it exists or refusing proper medical treatment, may lead to heart disease, stroke, and death. These issues usually do not occur until many years after high blood pressure first appears. Some patients may never experience these serious side effects if hypertension is mild and stable.
Although high blood pressure usually takes years to develop into a life-threatening condition, patients are encouraged to seek medical attention immediately to ensure that treatments are started and that they are effective. Certain lifestyle changes, such as cutting back on particular foods and activities, may also be needed to improve the prognosis of hypertension for an individual patient.
The presence of hypertension does have some additional health risks which may affect the prognosis. Those who have high blood pressure are also more likely to have other potentially serious conditions or to engage in risky behaviors. For instance, smokers are more likely than the average person to have high blood pressure, and they also are at higher risk for clogged arteries, blocked airways, and lowered immunity. This could make having a heart attack or stroke more likely to occur sooner than for those who do not have these issues.
For these reasons, doctors and patients should take all health matters into consideration when choosing treatment options. Ideally, patients will stay away from high risk substances and improve their overall health. This is not always the case, and hypertension treatments should be given accordingly.