High Blood Pressure & Obesity1,2

High blood pressure (also called hypertension) makes your heart work harder, and puts a strain on your arteries. Over time, high blood pressure can put you at risk for stroke, heart disease, and kidney failure.

If you're overweight or obese, you're twice as likely to have high blood pressure. And if you're obese and have diabetes or high cholesterol, you have a much greater risk of heart attack or stroke.

The good news is many of the risk factors for high blood pressure are within your control. With an effective program, you may be able to keep enough weight off to help improve your health long term. You can minimize other risk factors by:

1. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General Web site, accessed September 13, 2011 at http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/obesity/calltoaction/fact_consequences.htm.
2. American Heart Association Web site, accessed September 13, 2011 at http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/UnderstandYourRiskforHighBloodPressure/