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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.


Review Date: 6/24/2011
Reviewed By: Reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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